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Ceasefire tops 2nd round of peace negotiations agenda

AT News

KABUL: The second round of the intra-Afghan negotiations began Saturday with a lasting cease fire on top of the agenda, a government official said.

The Afghan and Taliban negotiating teams discussed peace issues for three months, but gained no achievements. Now they are sitting for the second time after a break with each one having their own subjects for agenda.

“The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s negotiating delegation is fully ready for this round of talks. The cease fire is the people’s demand and the negotiating team represents people of Afghanistan, so they will emphasize on the cease fire,” Najia Anwari, spokeswoman of the state ministry for peace said.

Violence and attacks did not decrease during the peace talks even as the people of Afghanistan demanded it as the first step. Attacks on civilians including targeted murders have increased since the talks began in September.

Taliban say that any negotiation on the cease fire would be premature.

“The cease fire is a need and this is clarified as part of agenda. But the two sides are not in that level of trust yet. We want the negotiations have a good end,” Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Saturday.

The international community particularly the United States as the signatory of a peace deal with the Taliban call for reduction of violence, while the people of Afghanistan are witnessing daily increase in violence.

The Afghan negotiators persist that the republic system to remain as an achievement. Taliban want the release of their 7,000 colleagues held in government custody as the main subject of agenda.

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