Taliban: Peace Talks Not Possible Until Foreign ‘Occupation’ of Afghanistan Ends -VOANews.com

ISLAMABAD — The Taliban has rejected latest United Nations calls for engaging in peace talks with the Afghan government, and instead demanded the world body pressure U.S.-led foreign troops to end their “occupation” of Afghanistan if the U.N. truly wants an end to the 15-year war.

“Our fight is for independence, and as long as foreign occupation forces are present here (in Afghanistan) any talk about peace and reconciliation is meaningless,” Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told VOA Friday.

He was responding to a renewed call for Afghan peace talks earlier this week by Tadamichi Yamamoto, who heads the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, or UNAMA.

In his quarterly briefing to the Security Council in New York on Monday, Yamamoto urged the Taliban to enter into direct talks with the Kabul government, without preconditions, to prevent further bloodshed in the country.

“We all know that the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution. The Taliban leadership must reconsider the notion that their objectives can only be achieved on the battlefield,” noted the UNAMA chief.

However, the Taliban spokesman insisted that all parties interested in resolving Afghanistan’s problems should pressure on foreign forces to leave Afghanistan and let its people decide the kind of governing system they need for their country.

“Afghans neither like a foreign-imposed regime nor do they accept presence of foreign forces in their country,” he said, citing presence of American and NATO in… Read More on voanews.com