NATO calls on Taliban to shun violence, seek peace

KABUL: The U.S.-led NATO alliance called on Friday for Afghanistan’s Taliban militants to cut violence levels and join peace talks, saying prisoner releases should also be speeded up.

The Taliban have rejected an Afghan government call for a ceasefire for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, raising concerns about a peace process after Taliban and the United States struck a deal in February on the withdrawal of U.S.-led foreign forces.

“The current level of violence caused by the Taliban is not acceptable,” alliance ambassadors in NATO’s North Atlantic Council said in a statement on the peace efforts.

“We welcome the establishment of an inclusive negotiating team to represent the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. We call on the Taliban to enter negotiations with this team without further delay, which is considered a key element of the U.S.-Taliban agreement,” the NATO statement said.

The Kabul Times

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