Participants in intra-Afghan talks fail to make ceasefire agreement

MOSCOW (Agencies): Partici-pants in the intra-Afghan talks in Moscow failed to make a ceasefire agreement, former Governor of Afghanistan’s Balkh Province Atta Mohammad Noor told reporters on Thursday.

“There is only a statement saying that the ceasefire talks will continue,” he said in response to a TASS question.

The intra-Afghan talks involving a delegation of the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) took place in Moscow on May 28-30 and resulted in the adoption of a joint statement.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani earlier called on the Taliban to accept a peace initiative put forward at the Loya Jirga, or grand assembly of elders, in March.

Also, a Taliban official on Tuesday categorically ruled out any immediate ceasefire in Afghanistan, but said it was possible after the withdrawal of foreign troops.

“The political office in Doha is capable to establish a ceasefire all over the country. But our policy is that all foreign forces should leave Afghanistan and for that we are holding talks with Americans,” Taliban spokesman Mohammad Suhail Shaheen told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.

He said after the announcement of a timetable for withdrawal by foreign forces, the Afghans would sit together to chalk out a mutually agreed agenda.

“When there is bombardment, when there are night raids, when the country is occupied, how a ceasefire can be possible?” Shaheen asked.

Shaheen, said his delegation was in to Moscow to attend a meeting, marking the centenary of relation between Afghanistan and Russia.

Mohammad Suhail Shaheen added that there was no plan to hold talks with representatives of Afghan government on the sidelines of the meeting.