‘‘Taliban leaders, the decision is in your hands. Accept peace, sit at the negotiating table and let’s build the country together”. With these words, Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, addressed the main Afghan anti-government group on 28 February 2018, offering the most generous negotiating proposal ever tabled so far. It offered the Taliban recognition as a political party, the implicit guarantee of immunity, the possibility of reviewing the constitution, inclusion in the institutional framework, a political office in Kabul and, for the first time, a proposed ceasefire. Some of the concessions had already been suggested in the past. But what really mattered was the overall scope of the proposal and the symbolic significance Ghani had assigned to it by making it public and adopting a conciliatory tone.

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