Peace only possible after foreign troops go, new Taliban leader says


Kabul (dpa) – The new leader of the Taliban said Tuesday the only way to reach a lasting peace in Afghanistan would be for international troops to leave the country.

“If the Kabul administration wants to end the war and establish peace in the country, it is possible by ending the occupation and revoking all military and security treaties with the invaders,” Mullah Akhtar Mansoor said on the occasion of the Islamic holiday Eid Al Adha.

Mansoor’s statement followed a period of reported division among the Taliban leadership regarding his appointment to succeed the late founder Mullah Omar. The split was said to have been resolved after Omar’s family pledged allegiance Mansoor.

Reports of dissension were “baseless rumours,” Mansoor’s statement said.

“Mujahideen should not pay attention to the futile propaganda of the enemy,” he said.

Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government have been arranged by Pakistan on two separate occasions, but the second meeting was cancelled due to the delayed news of Mullah Omar’s demise. There are no formal plans for further talks.