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Taliban factions interested in pursuing peace talks, says Mattis

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Taliban factions interested in pursuing peace talks, says Mattis

Taliban factions interested in pursuing peace talks, says Mattis
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The US Defense Secretary has said some factions of the Taliban have expressed interest in holding peace talks with the Afghan government.

James Mattis told reporters about the possible development before landing for an unannounced visit to Kabul.

"There is interest that we have picked up from the Taliban side. We've had some groups of Taliban - small groups - who have either started to come over or expressed an interest in talking. In other words, it may not be that the whole Taliban who comes over in one fell swoop. That may be a bridge too far to expect. But there are elements of the Taliban clearly interested in talking to the Afghan government."

Last month President Ashraf Ghani's government revealed it would be willing to recognise the Taliban as a legitimate political party linked to a potential ceasefire by the armed group.

Security in Kabul remains ultra tight after a string of recent suicide bombings.