Afghanistan- Taliban's Peace Negotiators No More on UNSC Black List

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Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement the movement was committed to the peace process but accused Afghan and global forces of stepping up their own operations.

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has condemned the announcement of spring offensive by Taliban as he called on Pakistan, Qatar, and other nations to condemn the announcement as well, Afghan media reported on Saturday.

It also pertinent to mention, that the Taliban have launched their spring offensive codenamed Al-Fatah on Friday.

"The continuation of war is no one's interest", it said.

The Taliban seized Kunduz for around two weeks in 2015 before withdrawing in the face of a NATO-backed Afghan offensive. The call for more fighting will not advance peace efforts.

The Taliban effectively controls almost half of Afghanistan and has continued to launch frequent attacks on security forces despite holding several rounds of peace talks with the United States in recent months after almost 18 years of war.

The statement clarifies that the Afghan government has not announced operations but it has removed all the barriers on the way of peace.

As well as assurances that civilians would be protected, the Taleban called on Afghan government soldiers and police, who have been suffering thousands of casualties a month, to abandon their posts and join the insurgency.

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"The Taliban made an announcement this morning that they choose violence over peace".

Most recently, the Taliban announced the launch of their annual spring offensive, warning that the fighting will continue as long as foreign forces remained in Afghanistan.

The Taliban blamed Ghani's government and the U.S. for the violence, accusing them of the indiscriminate killing of civilians in a bombing campaign.

Nangarhar Gov. Shahmahmood Miakhel said Afghan forces repelled the attack after reinforcements arrived.

The group said in a statement that the offensive will be conducted across Afghanistan with the aim of "eradicating occupation" and "cleansing our Muslim homeland from invasion and corruption".

The insurgents carry out daily attacks targeting Afghan security forces and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops, and inflicting staggering casualties, including among civilians. "Many Talibs including fighters and some leaders oppose this announcement", the USA envoy added.

Friday's clashes took place days before the expected resumption of talks between USA peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taleban officials in Doha.

The National Security Council said in a statement that the plan, named Khalid Security Plan, is aimed at boosting security across the country particularly the security of urban areas and highways.

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