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Afghanistan, Taliban continue talks to resolve dispute

AT News

KABUL: Afghanistan is attempting to engage in discussions with the Taliban to resolve the longstanding dispute over the agenda and roadmap for peace talks, after weeks of stalemate in the negotiations to end Afghanistan’s war.

The Afghan government and the Taliban’s negotiating teams held a general meeting in Doha Thursday night after weeks of discussions on the ground rules for Afghan peace talks.

Sources on both sides say the meeting lasted for two hours and focused on how to resolve disputes and start discussions on the agenda of talks.

Rasool Talib, a member of the Afghan government delegation, has said their proposal was to negotiate the agenda and also discuss to iron out differences at the same time. “We suggested that although our disagreements are discussed in the contact group, we must also negotiate ground rules parallel with the discussions on the two disputes. However, the Taliban side focused on resolving the disputes.

We also discussed a ceasefire and an end to violence so that the two sides could discuss differences in a calm atmosphere, he said, adding that the contact groups would continue to meet to reach a conclusion and start the next stages of the talks.

“During the meeting, there were talks about the remaining points of contention on the agenda, and the contact groups were tasked to continue discussions on the points of disagreement,” he added.

Peace talks between Afghan government and the Taliban began on September 12 in Doha, Qatar. But more than a month after preliminary negotiations began, the two sides have not yet agreed on the terms of the peace talks.

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