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Taliban peace will help in fighting ISIS: Afghan official

A successful peace process with the Taliban will allow the government to focus its resources on countering ISIS terrorist group and its attacks on soft targets, Afghanistan’s national security adviser said Saturday.
Afghanistan is grappling with a surge in violence that has worsened despite landmark peace talks with the Taliban which began in September in Qatar.
ISIS has claimed a series of assaults on vulnerable targets, including a November attack on Kabul university which saw gunmen detonate grenades and spray automatic fire across the campus.
Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s national security adviser, said that although ISIS had been dislodged from the territory it controlled and its funding sources disrupted, the group maintained a “network of terror”.
“Of course those attacks by themselves are quite damaging, they bring a lot of fear to our people, and we are working very hard to prevent them from attacking our cities,” he told AFP.
“We do face a lot of threats… so our resources are stretched,” he said on the sidelines of a security conference in Bahrain’s capital.
“One of the reasons we’re focused on this peace process with the Taliban is that if we were to achieve peace with the Taliban, our security forces will be able to divert their capabilities onto terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIS) and then we can contain them much easier.”
The Doha talks have made headway in recent days, setting out a code of conduct that will allow the process to move to the next stage of setting out the agenda for negotiations.
“It has been a long conflict, four decades — to end that conflict there are, of course, a lot of grievances that need to be addressed,” Mohib said.
“Everyone’s tired. The demand of the Afghan people is to end this conflict, but there are a lot of differences,” he said. “But I think in good spirit, we will be able to achieve peace.”

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