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Afghan president offers recognition of Taliban as political group, says talks possible

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani offered recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group on Wednesday. He said a proposed political process could lead to talks aimed at ending more than 16 years of war, Reuters reports. The offer was made at the start of an international conference aimed at creating a platform for peace talks. Ghani’s statement adds to a series of signals from both the Western-backed government and the Taliban suggesting a greater willingness to consider dialogue. The president proposed a ceasefire and a release of prisoners as part of a range of options including new elections, involving the militants, and a constitutional review as part of a pact with the Taliban.