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Afghan negotiators in Moscow upbeat as Taliban talks advance

KABUL: Afghanistan’s negotiators on second day of the Moscow meeting on Wednesday express hope the talks with the rebel Taliban will yield positive outcome, calling it as ‘constructive’ towards restoring peace in Afghanistan.

The conference that kicked off a day earlier in Moscow and resumed on Wednesday is aimed at discussing peace and reconciliation in the war-torn country. A joint delegation of representatives of political parties led by ex-president Hamid Karzai is attending the talks in the Russian capital.

Taliban negotiator Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said on Tuesday that Afghanistan’s constitution was not ‘valid’ and they wanted an Islamic constitution and ‘an inclusive Islamic government system.’

The Taliban representative stressed the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.Stanikzai said the insurgents did not want a “monopoly of power” but “an inclusive Islamic system”. He said a formal Taliban office in Afghanistan and a credible guarantee for peace was vital.

He termed the yesterday’ meeting as productive and friendly and hoped today’s meeting would also be concluded on a positive note and said such meetings should continue until the people of Afghanistan achieved lasting peace in their country.

Ex-president Hamid Karzai told media persons that they had detailed discussions and all participants expressed their views about the peace process.Karzai said the first day talks went satisfactory and more discussion would take place on Wednesday (today).He also hoped the Afghan government and the Taliban would sit down to talk peace in future.

Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, who is contesting the July presidential election as first vice-presidential candidate of presidential hopeful Mohammad Hanif Atamr, hoped the meeting would yield a positive outcome.He supported reforms in Afghanistan’s judicial and justice organs but said having an Islamic republic was the Afghan nation’s demand, which should be supported.

He said, “I am hopeful about the outcome of our discussions. I hope we will have fruitful result because we had almost similar views during the discussion and this could be a clear example of optimism for future.”

Former deputy chief executive officer Mohammad Mohaqiq also expressed similar views and said he also addressed the meeting.He further said the Moscow meeting was portrayed good inside the country and people wildly supported the talks on social media.

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