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Second phase of direct peace talks to start next week: HPC

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The High Peace Council (HPC) said that the second phase of direct peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban will be started till end of this month.

Shahzada Shahid, a spokesman for the HPC told reporters on Wednesday that they haven’t decided over venue of the talks so far. “The Taliban should talk peace with the Afghan government from a united front, and our delegation should also represent the government and people of Afghanistan in the peace parleys,” he said.

He said that a ceasefire should be also discussed in the second phase of the talks. According to Shahid, female delegates will be also in structure of the government delegation in the talks.

The first official negotiations between the government and the Taliban were held around two weeks ago in the town of Murree, a hill resort on the outskirts of Islamabad, where the two sides agreed to meet after Ramadan.

In the meantime, a Pakistani official have told The Express Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper, that the next round of talks will be held in China. The Pakistani official said that Islamabad and Beijing are ready to become ‘guarantors’ of a possible peace deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

A political analyst, Sayed Daoud, said that venue and time of the talks are not important. However, he stressed that the two sides should agree on a ceasefire during the talks.

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