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Taliban leader supports political settlement of conflict in Afghanistan

The leader of the Taliban movement, Hebatullah Akhundzada, announced on Sunday that he "strongly supports" a political settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan "despite the progress and military victories" recorded by the movement in the past two months, in a message on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.

Akhundzadeh said: "Instead of relying on foreigners, let us solve our problems among ourselves and save our country from the prevailing crisis," according to the French agency.

Two delegations from the Afghan government and the Taliban met on Saturday to resume talks that started in September and have been stalled so far, as the insurgents launched a sweeping attack on Afghan forces, in which they took control of many areas.

The Taliban leader said: "We, on our part, are determined to reach a solution through negotiations, but the other side continues to waste time."

The Taliban launched an all-out attack on Afghan forces in early May, taking advantage of the start of the withdrawal of foreign forces, which is due to be completed by the end of August. The movement controlled vast rural areas, especially in northern and western Afghanistan, far from its traditional strongholds in the south.

The Afghan forces no longer control only major hubs and state capitals.

In his message, the Taliban leader enumerated a series of pledges in the event of an "Islamic emirate" in the country, saying, "We want good and close diplomatic, economic and political relations with all countries of the world, including the United States," adding, "We fully assure the neighboring countries, the region and the world that Afghanistan will not allow anyone to threatening the security of any other country from its territory.