Afghan president pushing for global 'consensus' on talks with Taliban
ISLAMABAD-Kabul,Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is expected to start pushing Monday for a global consensus on peace talks with the Taliban, even as his spokesman slammed the militants for a spike in violence.
Ghani is hosting three online conferences with representatives of some 20 countries this week, with the first meeting scheduled for later Monday.
They aim to "build a consensus" for the peace talks at regional and international level, said Gran Hewad, a spokesman for the foreign ministry.
The United States and Russia along with some international organisations such as the United Nations will take part, officials said.
But just hours ahead of the first online meeting, Ghani's spokesman slammed the Taliban for an uptick in violence in recent weeks.
There is no obstacle on our side for the peace process, but we see that the Taliban are not serious," Sediq Sediqqi told reporters.
"The government of Afghanistan released a large number of Taliban in order to reduce violence in the country, but the violence has not decreased."
That deal paves the way for withdrawing of all foreign forces from Afghanistan by the middle of next year.
Violence dropped in the run-up to the Taliban-Washington deal -- and again, briefly, after militants announced a three-day ceasefire on May 24.
But there has been a spike in violence across much of the country in the past few weeks, with officials blaming the Taliban for killing and wounding hundreds of security personnel and civilians.