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Over 2,380 Taliban join Afghan peace process: NATO

(Xinhua)

10:14, August 30, 2011

British Army Major General Phil Jones, Director of the Force Reintegration Cell with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 29, 2011. Over 2,380 Taliban insurgents have renounced violence and joined the Afghan government-initiated peace process over the past one year and half, a NATO spokesman said here on Monday. (Xinhua/Omid)

KABUL, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Over 2,380 Taliban insurgents have renounced violence and joined the Afghan government-initiated peace process over the past one year and half, a NATO spokesman said here on Monday.

"Today 2,385 people have enrolled in program in 20 provinces," British Army Major General Phil Jones, Director of the Force Reintegration Cell with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, told reporters at a joint press conference with ISAF spokesman Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson.

He also predicted with confidence that hundreds more Taliban insurgents are joining this process in near future.

However, Jones said that peace and reintegration process was an Afghan-led process and ISAF has always been a strong supporter of Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP).

Out of the country's 34 provinces, he named Baghlan, Kunduz, Sari Pul, Faryab, Badghis and Herat in northern and western Afghanistan where a lot of former insurgents joined the peace process.

However, in southern and eastern provinces, seen as the stronghold of Taliban, few insurgents have done so. "It is good that more and more former fighters all over Afghanistan recognize the senselessness of all this (insurgency)," said ISAF spokesman Jacobson.

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