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Taliban Sets Out Demands To Take Part In Afghan Peace Talks

Taliban representatives in Qatar.
Taliban representatives in Qatar.

The Taliban in Afghanistan has set out a list of demands that the militant group says must be met before they consider rejoining peace talks aimed at ending the 15-year war.

The Islamist insurgents are demanding the release of an unnamed list of prisoners, to be removed from a UN blacklist freezing their assets and imposing a travel ban on its leaders, and to have a political office formally recognized.

These are "among the preliminary steps needed for peace," the Taliban said in a statement on January 24. "Without them, progress towards peace is not feasible."

Taliban forces have stepped up their campaign to topple the Kabul government, which has struggled since most foreign troops left at the end of 2014.

The demands came a day after representatives of the Taliban and former Afghan officials met in Qatar at a conference to resolve the war organized by the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, a Nobel peace prize-winning crisis group.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters