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No ceasefire before US pullout timetable: Taliban

KABUL: A top Taliban negotiator has once again ruled out agreeing to a ceasefire until international forces are pulled out of Afghanistan.

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai insurgents also promised the militant movement did not want to seize the entire country through its military prowess.

“It will not bring peace to Afghanistan,” Stanikzai, who headed the Taliban delegation at peace negotiations with the US, said in an interview with the British News Channel.

Currently in Moscow for a meeting on Afghanistan, he acknowledged problems in reaching a settlement. He believed achieving peace was more difficult than war. However, he hoped the conflict could be ended.

The Moscow meeting is separate from the US-Taliban peace parleys in the UAE and Qatar, according to Stanikzai, who told participants that the group did not want “a monopoly of power”.

After the announcement of a US troop withdrawal, he indicated, representatives of the Afghan government and others could join talks on a future government.