No peace until foreign troops leave Afghanistan: Taliban chief

KABUL: The Afghan Taliban’s new leader told Kabul on Tuesday it must cancel a security deal with the United States (US) and expel all foreign troops if it wants peace in Afghanistan.

Mullah Mansour made the demand in his first message marking the Muslim festival of Eidul Azha since taking charge of the insurgent movement after the death of talismanic founding leader Mullah Omar was confirmed in July.

“If the Kabul administration wants to end the war and establish peace in the country, it is possible through ending the occupation and revoking all military and security treaties with the invaders,” Mansour said in the message posted in English on the Afghan Taliban’s website.
Washington and Kabul signed a security deal in September last year allowing around 13,000 foreign troops, including 10,000 US, to stay on after NATO s combat mission ended in December 2014.

“The Islamic Emirate (Taliban) believes if the country is not under occupation, the problem of the Afghans can be resolved through intra-Afghan understanding,” Mansour said in the message posted on the Taliban s website.

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