Afghanistan

Taliban Call On US To Restart Peace Talks

President Donald Trump said the talks were "dead" but the Taliban's chief negotiator said 'their doors are open for negotiations'.

Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said they "hope the other side also rethink their decision regarding the negotiations" (Picture: PA).

The chief negotiator for the Afghan Taliban has called on the United States to return to the negotiating table.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump abruptly cancelled the ongoing peace talks and a secret summit in the US.

He said he "immediately" called off the talks after the Taliban said they were behind an attack in Kabul that killed a US soldier.

President Trump said the talks were "dead" but, in an interview with the BBC, Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said 'their doors are open for negotiations'.

"We hope the other side also rethink their decision regarding the negotiations," Mr Stanikzai said.

When asked why the Taliban will not stop carrying out attacks during the peace process, Mr Stanikzai said: "This applies to both sides - why the foreign forces cannot stop the fighting?

"Every day, there are tens of air raids and bombardments and target killings and civilian bombardment and all these things...it's going on for both sides.

"There is no ceasefire so far...when the agreement is signed by both sides, after that the ceasefire will come into practice." 

US President Donald Trump declares national emergency during speech at the White House

US President Donald Trump (Picture: PA).

US President Donald Trump has long called for US troops to withdraw from Afghanistan (Picture: PA).

Mr Stanikzai said a deal had already been agreed with the US and that ending the war in Afghanistan is in the interest of both the US and the Taliban.

The US said they had agreed a deal "in principle" with the Taliban which aimed to bring an end to America's longest war. 

Under the proposed deal, more than 5,000 US troops would have withdrawn from the country within five months.

The US has between 13,000 and 14,000 troops in Afghanistan and President Trump is keen for them to be withdrawn before next year's election.