Afghanistan's Ghani offers talks with Taliban 'without preconditions'

Afghanistan's Ghani offers talks with Taliban 'without preconditions'By Hamid Shalizi and James Mackenzie KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group on Wednesday as part of a proposed political process that he said could lead to talks aimed at ending more than 16 years of war. The offer, made at the start of an international conference aimed at creating a platform for peace talks, adds to a series of signals from both the Western-backed government and the Taliban suggesting a greater willingness to consider dialogue. Ghani proposed a ceasefire and a release of prisoners as part of a range of options including new elections, involving the militants, and a constitutional review as part of a pact with the Taliban to end a conflict that last year alone killed or wounded more than 10,000 Afghan civilians.


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