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Cease fire to top intra-Afghan talks

AT News

KABUL: The High Council for National Reconciliation says that the government peace negotiating team would prioritize cease fire in the first meeting with Taliban expected to be held in the coming few days.

Taliban seem to be ready for talks with Ghani administration after the last hurdle according to the group before talks (prisoner release) was lifted after the Loya Jirga ordered President Ghani in the weekend to release the 400 controversial Taliban prisoners.

“The agenda is prepared including the venue of the talks. Our first demand will be cease fire,” Feraidoon Khozon, spokesman of the Council said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, state ministry for peace says that all the administrative works were done.

“The negotiations will begin in the near future with the two sides’ agreement. The beginning agenda from government is a comprehensive and lasting cease fire,” said Najia Anwari, spokeswoman for the state ministry for peace.

She said that the first round of the talks would be held in Qatar, adding that former spy chief Masssoum Stanakzai would head the government’s 21-member team.

Separately, political and security analysts criticize the government for not publicizing of identities of the 400 Taliban prisoners held in government custody.

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