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UN, US, EU, NATO tighten grip on Taliban push to reduce violence

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KABUL: There is a rare and overwhelming consensus of the international community over Taliban’s proposal to reduce violence in Afghanistan as part of a bigger deal to reconcile the insurgent group to the Afghan government and end America’s longest war.

“Most of the stakeholders have overwhelming consensus on key issues, including a reduction of violence,” said EU special envoy for Afghanistan Ronald Kobia.

Representatives of the European Union, US, NATO, the United Nations Assistance Mission and Afghanistan met in Dubai on Friday to discuss the ongoing peace process and the prospects of Taliban’s proposal to reduce violence including halting attacks in major cities and suicide bombing and stopping major highway blockades.

Kobia said in a tweet the meeting reflected on hot-button issues concerning Afghanistan including ceasefire, reduction of violence, sequencing, intra-Afghan negotiations, inclusivity of process, CT guarantees and future commitments and a regional dimension.

Germany’s special representative for Afghanistan Markus Potzel also confirmed there is a unanimity over key issues in Afghanistan.

This is as Kabul is sticking to its guns vis-à-vis recognition of ceasefire as a prerequisite to any advancement of peace talks against the backdrop of the Taliban and the United States’ agreement to move forward with a plan to reduce violence in Afghanistan ahead of a looming peace deal.

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