In the face of a re-energised Taliban assault Afghan government forces are abandoning their posts, but the fight is far from over as the Taliban is also rumoured to be taking heavy losses.
The three foreign ministers highlight “urgent need for immediate ceasefire” in Afghanistan after a meeting in Istanbul. A US-backed Afghan peace conference in the city, hosted by Turkey, Qatar and UN, is postponed over Taliban’s non-participation.
Ahmad Massoud envisions a political setup in which people of every ethnicity have a say.
The Taliban denies any involvement in targeting Saleh, but experts think the latest attack was aimed at 'poisoning' the upcoming intra-Afghan talks.
The statement from the Taliban comes a day after Afghanistan's State Minister for Peace Affairs said it was hoped that direct talks with the Taliban would be held in the next two weeks in an unidentified European country.
Taliban representatives meet with opposition figures, rights activists, former president Hamid Karzai, in Russian capital, sidelining Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's government, which has criticised the gathering.
The two-day meeting in the Russian capital which starts on Tuesday, is seen as another step in a process aimed at resolving Afghanistan's 17-year war.
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