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Taliban reject Trump's suggestion of lingering US counter-terrorism presence

KABUL: The Taliban reiterated on Wednesday their long-held call for that every one international troops get out of Afghanistan, rejecting an offer by means of US President Donald Trump of a lingering US center of attention on counter-terrorism after troops are drawn down.

Trump used his State of the Union deal with to worry the importance of sped up talks with the hardline Islamist motion to end the longest of America's "endless wars".

Trump presented no specifics about when he would convey home the 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan however stated progress in negotiations with the Taliban would permit a troop aid and a "focus on counter-terrorism".

Asked about Trump's speech, a Taliban official told Reuters that every one international troops in Afghanistan needed to pass.

"At the first step, we want all the foreign forces to leave and end the military presence in our country," stated Sohail Shahin, a spokesman for a Taliban place of business in Qatar and a member of a Taliban team now meeting Afghan opposition politicians in Moscow.

"But after ending their military presence, their non-military teams can come and we need them too, they can come and take part in the reconstruction and development process," he stated.

US officers have held a number of rounds of talks with the Taliban in Qatar since last yr, in what's extensively noticed as probably the most severe bid for peace in the 17-year struggle.

Both aspects hailed progress after the newest round, last month. The US team, led by means of veteran envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, is because of meet Taliban representatives there again on February 25.

The Taliban imposed hardline Islamist rule throughout maximum of Afghanistan from 1996 till past due 2001.

They were ousted by means of Afghan opposition forces, subsidized by means of US forces, for harbouring al-qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, weeks after the September 11, 2001, assaults at the United States.

Ever since, the Taliban had been preventing to power out international forces and defeat the Western-backed government in Kabul. Fighting has spread through the years to maximum regions of the rustic, with many thousands of people killed annually.

Diplomats stated Trump's comments gave the impression aimed at reassuring an Afghan government worried a few swift withdrawal of Afghanistan's US-led NATO drive, and the way embattled government troops would cope.

The Taliban have lengthy condemned the Afghan government as a "puppet" and have not agreed to let its officers join their talks with Khalilzad.


The place of business of President Ashraf Ghani stated past due on Tuesday the government needed to be the "decision maker" behind any deal. The place of business didn't make any fast comment on Trump's speech.

Taliban officers have used the Moscow meeting to outline their vision for a post-war Afghanistan.

Lead Taliban negotiator Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai stated on Tuesday the motion didn't need to rule on my own however as a part of "an intra Afghan Islamic system of governance ... in consultation with all Afghans".

He also pushed for adjustments to Afghanistan's "illegitimate" constitution - a file staunchly protected by means of the government - announcing it should be based on "Islamic principles, national interests, historic pride and social justice".

In his sweeping remark, Stanikzai also demanded the removing of Western sanctions and travel bans on Taliban members, prisoner releases, an finish to "propaganda" against the Taliban and clearance to open an official place of business.

On the emotive issue of women's rights, Stanikzai stated the Taliban were committed to all rights of women "that have been given to them by the sacred religion of Islam".

"Islam has given women all fundamental rights, such as business and ownership, inheritance, education, work, choosing one's husband, security and the right to good life," Stanikzai stated.

Many Afghan girls fear a return of repressive Taliban insurance policies if they come back as a part of a peace deal.

Under Taliban rule, girls were banned from work, required to put on the full-length burqa and not leave home with no male family member. Girls were banned from secondary college.

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