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Setback to peace talks in Afghanistan, Taliban launches annual spring offensive

ANI | Updated: Apr 12, 2019 15:03 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], Apr 12 (ANI): In a major setback to US-led peace talks in Afghanistan, Taliban on Friday announced its annual spring offensive, with an aim of "eradicating occupation" and "cleansing Muslim homeland from invasion and corruption".
According to Al Jazeera, the annual spring offensive marks the beginning of the so-called fighting season. 
Taliban, in a statement, said: "Operation Fath, which means victory in Arabic, will be conducted across Afghanistan with the aim of eradicating occupation and cleansing our Muslim homeland from invasion and corruption." 
However, the government has called the Taliban's spring offensive as "mere propaganda".
"The Taliban will not reach their vicious goals and their operations will be defeated like previous years," Qais Mangal, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence.
The announcement comes despite the US efforts to end two decades of war in Afghanistan. Several rounds of negotiations were conducted by the US  in Doha, Qatar's capital city.
In December last year, US President Donald Trump had also announced the complete withdrawal of  US troops from Afghanistan
No dates have been announced yet for the next round of talks, which is slated to take place later this month.
Last month, Afghan Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah had said that the Taliban is an "obstacle" in the way of reaching peace in war-torn Afghanistan.
He also professed that the formation of a negotiation team can prevent the Taliban from making an "excuse" to avoid talks.
In February, Russia had hosted a meeting on Afghanistan's peace process in which various Taliban members were invited. However, Afghanistan was not invited to the meet.
On being snubbed for the summit, Kabul had expressed reservations and said that the talks in Moscow were held against the spirit of Afghan-led and owned peace process. (ANI)