UN calls on Taliban to join peace process
KABUL - Agence France-Presse
United Nations Secretary-General's Special representative for Afghanistan, Jan Kubis addresses a press conference in Kabul on March 27, 2013. AFP PhotoThe United Nations envoy to Afghanistan on Wednesday called on the Taliban to join a peace process as the bulk of NATO combat troops prepare to leave the country by the end of next year.
"My message to the insurgency is basically a sort of long-term message: you are Afghans, you care, I assume, about your country, you care about peaceful stable future of the country," Jan Kubis told a news conference.
The Taliban were ousted from power by a 2001 US-led invasion for refusing to give up Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks. Since then, they have been fighting an increasingly deadly insurgency against Western troops and the Afghan government.
Pointing out that a "strong motivation" for the insurgency was the fight against international troops, Kubis said: "Please take into account that this presence is coming to its end and there will be no international fighting force at the end of 2014.
"Take this into account. Adjust and take necessary measures to contribute to the surge of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan after 2014." Efforts by the international community and the Afghan government to bring the Taliban to negotiations are largely considered to be stalemated. The Taliban publicly refuse to hold direct talks with the Afghan government.