In a proposed trade-off for peace, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has offered the Taliban a chance to be recognized as a legitimate political party and withdraw their names from international sanctions lists.
During the Kabul Process conference Wednesday, Ghani said the Taliban could review the constitution but emphasized that women’s’ rights will be protected. The president said former militants from the group would also receive help reintegrating into society and finding jobs.
Attendees at the conference include representatives from 25 countries, as well as the United Nations and NATO.
Ghani’s proposal was prepared after months of input from all segments across Afghanistan in an effort to end fighting that’s been going for more than 16 years.
Taliban leaders have said they are willing to talk to officials in the United States for a peaceful solution, but have refused to meet with leaders in Kabul.
Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump said his administration was not ready to talk with the Taliban because of the group’s continued use of violence.
To pressure the Taliban to come to the negotiating table, the U.S. military stepped up airstrikes in support of Afghan ground security forces.
In September, Ghani publicly praised the Trump administration’s Afghanistan strategy in an address to the United Nations General Assembly.
The Taliban regime has inflicted severe damages to Afghan forces, recently claiming responsibility for two attacks in the heart of Kabul that killed hundreds.
By Susan McFarland