Taliban Say They Don’t Want to ‘Rule’ Afghanistan Alone

The Taliban said on Wednesday that they are not seeking a “monopoly on power” in a future administration in Afghanistan and are looking for ways to co-exist with Afghan institutions.

The Taliban issued the statement as the intensified US-led talks to resolve the Afghanistan war continue.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad reported this week that there had been “agreements in principle” toward a framework for peace with the Taliban.

The statement of Wednesday by Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen comes as a means to ease the fears among those worried about any agreement that includes the Taliban.

Surprisingly, the statement had an unusually conciliatory tone.

In an exclusive audio message to The Associated Press, Shaheen asserted that the Taliban want to live alongside their countrymen “in an inclusive Afghan world.”

“After the end of the occupation, Afghans should forget their past and tolerate one another and start life like brothers. After the withdrawal, we are not seeking a monopoly on power,” said Shaheen, who is based in Qatar, where the Taliban have a political office.

Shaheen also confirmed that the next round of US-Taliban talks will take place by 25 Feb in Doha, Qatar.

This comes after US Envoy Khalilzad has been repeatedly doing rounds in the region to bring progress in Afghan peace process and create a framework. He has been urging for an intra-Afghan talk as well as a comprehensive ceasefire as well.

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