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Afghanistan urges Taliban to ‘stick to talks’ and stop excuses

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KABUL: The government calls on Taliban to stop pretexts for delaying the all-Afghan talks, saying that the militants have no reasons for the postponement.

President Ghani’s Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi, says if Taliban were committed to peace and the agreement they signed with the United States, they would have no reasons to delay peace negotiations with the government.

Sediqqi said Tuesday on Twitter that the government had taken all “important steps” for peace.

President Ghani appointed a 21-member negotiating delegation led by former spy chief, Massoum Stanakzai and includes four women to begin talks with the insurgents.

The United States, European Union and NATO welcomed the delegation, but Taliban rejected it arguing that they didn’t see influential figures in the government’s negotiating team.

Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, said that the government of Afghanistan could participate in the talks just like other parties.

He said that government’s team had violated an agreement they had earlier signed with Washington.

Ghani’s rival in last year’s presidential election who lost the race, also rejected the delegation.

“We are committed not to overshadow the peace process by political differences despite we haven’t reached yet a solution for the crisis emerged after the fraudulent election,” said Abdullah who claims he is the winner of the polls.

The intra-Afghan talks was supposed to begin on March 10, but it postponed since Ghani rejected to release Taliban prisoners the group had demanded as a precondition.

Taliban and the United States signed a peace deal on February 29 that allows Washington to withdraw from Afghanistan.

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