Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the political deputy of the Taliban, called for the withdrawal of US-led coalition troops from Afghanistan calling their presence the main obstracle to peace.
He made the remarks to a gathering of Russian and Afghan government personnel, as well as representatives from prominent political groups from the war-torn country, during the meeting to mark the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Afghanistan in Moscow.
“The Islamic Emirate [Taliban] is truly committed to peace but the first step is to remove obstacles in the way of peace, meaning the occupation of Afghanistan must come to an end,” Baradar said.
During the same meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also urged foreign forces leave Afghanistan. He underscored the importance of bilateral relations, saying Russia is ready to offer more help to Afghanistan to fight terrorist groups led by ISIS and drug-trafficking networks.
“This conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution and the only way to settle this issue is to rely on diplomacy and politics. We believe all foreign military [forces] should be withdrawn from the country and the society of Afghanistan should unite in finding a solution,” Lavrov said.
“We believe that Afghanistan should stay united where all the ethnic groups can live peacefully. We hope that peace will settle in Afghanistan as soon as possible.”
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