In its statement, two days before the start of ‘Kabul Process’ meeting in Kabul to discuss ways of ending the war, the group said it wanted a “peaceful resolution”.
“The Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on American officials to talk directly to the Political Office of Islamic Emirate regarding a peaceful solution to the Afghan quandary,” it said.
“It would help in finding a solution if America accepts the legitimate demands of the Afghan people and [puts] forward its own concerns and requests for discussion to the Islamic Emirate through a peaceful channel,” it said.
The statement referred to reported remarks by Alice Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, that the “door is open” for talks with the Taliban.
Less than two weeks ago, the Taliban issued a statement saying they preferred to “solve the Afghan issue through peaceful dialogue”.
This comes as the U.S. has stepped up its military assistance to Afghanistan, notably through a sharp increase in air strikes, with the aim of breaking a stalemate with the insurgents and forcing them to the negotiating table.