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Afghan peace negotiators optimistic in ceasefire agreement

AT News

KABUL: The Afghan government’s negotiating delegation says they are optimistic in a ceasefire agreement with their Taliban interlocutors.

The two negotiating teams have not yet held official meetings. Taliban side has only focused on the technical issues.

Nader Naderi, a member of the government team told Al-Jazeera broadcaster on Friday that they hope to reach an agreement on the cease fire with the Taliban.

He said that there are a couple of controversial issues that would be resolved soon.

Habiba Sarabi, another member of the government team said that the official meetings would begin today (Saturday).

“It is Friday today, so I don’t think we hold meeting today though we are ready. Bu maybe the other side is in leave. Certainly, on Saturday we hold meting.”

The government and Taliban are for the first time sitting face to face to discuss ending the long war. The opening ceremony of the intra-Afghan talks was held on September 12 in Qatar with the presence of senior diplomats from several countries including the US state secretary Mike Pompeo.

The meetings began after Ghani’s administration announced to have released the last person of 5,000 Taliban prisoners. The prisoner release was part of the Taliban-US peace deal. Kabul was bound to release them even as it was not involved in the February deal signed by US diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban’s second in command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Qatar.

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