The Taliban will send representatives to multilateral talks in Russia on war-torn Afghanistan this month, the militant group said Tuesday, as the international community ratchets up efforts to end the 17-year conflict.
"This conference is not about negotiating with any particular side, rather it is a conference about holding comprehensive discussions on finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan quandary and ending the American occupation," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said.
The Taliban last month appointed five former Guantanamo Bay detainees, who had been swapped for US soldier Bowe Bergdahl in 2014, to its political office.
They have the authorisation to "talk about peace", a senior Taliban official told AFP.
The confirmation comes a day after Afghanistan's High Peace Council, a government body responsible for reconciliation efforts with the militants, said it would send a delegation.
The meeting comes at a sensitive time.
A US government watchdog last week said Kabul's control of Afghanistan had slipped in recent months as local security forces suffered record casualties while making minimal or no progress against the Taliban.
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