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Afghans want their 19-year achievements be preserved in peace talks

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KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani says that he wants a peace with the Taliban in which achievements gained in the past 19 years be maintained and Afghanistan remain independent and united.

“Taliban violence is a matter of deep concern and their attacks on the security forces is unacceptable,” Ghani stated in a video conference titled ‘Consensus on Afghan Peace’.

Representatives from NATO, European Union and 19 countries participated in the conference held on Thursday.

The participants called for reduction in violence, end of civilian casualties, nationwide cease fire and intra-Afghan talks.

They welcomed release of Taliban prisoners by the government and asked for women’s role in the peace negotiations.

The government has so far released nearly 4,000 Taliban prisoners, but says to keep 600 of them who are claimed to be responsible for big crimes.

According to government sources, Taliban have agreed to send a list of their other comrades to be released by government instead of those responsible for big crimes.

But Taliban Spokesman Suhail Shahin did not confirm that a new list was handed to government.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah chairman of the reconciliation council, said that Kabul welcomes a suggestion offered by the United Nations Secretary-General on a nationwide cease fire, but blamed the Taliban for not accepting the truce.

Abdullah said that 15 soldiers and police were killed in Taliban attacks only on Wednesday.

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