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Afghans start peace talks in Qatar

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: With the involvement of political representatives and the civil society of Afghanistan, a two-day conference seeking peace in that nation after 18 years of conflict began in Doha on Sunday.

The meeting, also attended by the governments of Qatar and Germany, complements the dialogue between the United States and the Taliban movement, which opened its seventh round of negotiations in Doha earlier this month, (Prensa Latina) reported.

The next few days will provide an opportunity for mutual understanding, to identify the issues that need to be solved, and lay the foundations for internal negotiations once all the conditions are established, said Markus Potzel, special envoy of the German government for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In his opening remarks, Potzel thanked all the parties that made the initiative possible, especially the Afghan participants who agreed to the constructive discussion.

In addition, he stressed that the guests participate only in a personal capacity and on an equal footing.

In statements to journalists, outside the debate room, Sultan Barakat, founding director of the center dedicated to the study of conflicts and humanitarian crises at the Doha Institute, showed himself positive about the meeting.

Anarkali Honaryar one of the Doha delegates said they shared their concerns regarding women’s rights, ceasefire, US forces withdrawal, intra-Afghan talks and counterterrorism assurances in their meeting with Khalilzad. 

“There is no way except peace, and we are working for peace,” said Salam Zaeef, a delegate of Doha meeting told TOLOnews. 

“Everyone in the meeting will share their personal views that how peace will be maintained in Afghanistan but the Taliban’s members stance will be expressed in the meeting by the Taliban representative Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai,” a spokesman for Taliban, Suhail Shaheen, told TOLOnews ahead of the meeting.

Moreover, the Afghan government on Sunday hailed a meeting of Afghan politicians and members of the Taliban in the Gulf state of Qatar as a crucial step in promoting peace and reconciliation in the country but once again reiterated that face-to-face talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban were a must to end the ongoing conflict in the country. 

Almost 50 delegates from Afghanistan and 17 representatives of the Taliban have attended a two-day intra-Afghan dialogue conference in Doha, co-hosted by Germany and Qatar, which kicked off on Sunday. 

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