Afghan President Seeks Direct Talks With Taliban Leader

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reiterated Wednesday he is ready to hold direct peace talks with the Taliban leader, Mawlawi Hibatulluah Akhunzada, anywhere he wants. In an opinion piece published by the New York Times Wednesday, Ghani called for building on unprecedented separate cease-fires his government and the Taliban observed this month during three-day Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr. The insurgents rejected calls for extending their Eid truce but Kabul unilaterally extended its week-long cease-fire for 10 days. Ghani wrote that he is seeking dialogue with Akhunzada to meet demands of Afghan peace marchers who walked more than 600-kilometers to Kabul from the southern province of Helmand this month with pleas to all sides to end decades of conflict in the country...................

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