Afghanistan, the Taliban "may participate" in the presidential elections

The election slated for September 28th. 18 candidates, including the current president Ashraf Ghani. In the same hours that Kabul announced the opening to fundamentalists, three cities were devastated by new explosions. In 2018, over 3 thousand victims, of which almost 1,000 are children.

 

 


Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Taliban can participate in the presidential elections if they agree to sit down at the peace table with the Kabul government and end the 18-year war. This was stated by the spokesman of Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Republic, stressing that "the doors are open whenever they want to come to discuss with an Afghan government and take part in the democratic and national stage".

Elections to choose the new president will take place on September 28th. The election campaign will officially begin in two days and there are currently 18 candidates (all men), including the current head of state Ashraf Ghani and a former warlord.

The Taliban have long wanted to sit in government positions, but they refuse to present themselves at the negotiating table with the Afghan government, which they consider a "puppet" in Washington's hands.

For these reasons, the agreement reached in Doha, Qatar, between government representatives, activists and women on the one hand and members of the militant groups on the other, seemed to indicate a turning point. But the episodes of violence that occurred in the following days suggested the floundering of the historic agreement, which established a "road map for peace" with the goal of "zero civilian casualties".

Meanwhile, in the same hours that the Afghan government announced the opening towards the Taliban, bombs exploded in three other cities of the country, causing in total more than 50 deaths, of which 10 in the capital. After the carnage, the US and Afghanistan governments released a joint statement reiterating their commitment to accelerate diplomatic efforts to stem the bloodshed. President Ghani and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agree that "the time has come to accelerate efforts to reach the negotiated end of the war in Afghanistan".

According to the United Nations, in 2018 the clashes caused 3,804 casualties among the population. Of these, at least 927 were children, innocent lives sacrificed on the altar of war.
 

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