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Govt. forms 15-member team for talks with Taliban

AT News Report

KABUL: The State Ministry for Peace (SMP) on Wednesday announced the formation of a 15-member negotiation team for the peace parleys with the Taliban.

A statement from the SMP said that as a result of continuous and comprehensive consultations with internal stakeholders and serious efforts made by the government, the negotiating body of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for the peace dialogue with the Taliban had been established.

“Political, social and ethnic diversity have been observed within the 15-member delegation which will represent the Islamic Republic in peace negotiations while taking into account the values and achievements of the Afghan people,” it added.

The statement said that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) was fully committed to ensuring a lasting, just and dignified peace and had demonstrated this pledge in practice over the past five years.

The State Ministry for Peace considered government-to-government strategic ties at regional and transregional levels as a fundamental principle for stability in the country – of which the strategic relationship between Afghanistan and the United States was of paramount importance, the statement continued.

“The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is on the same page with the United States on the next steps for the peace process,” the statement concluded.

Meanwhile, the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been in Kabul for a few days and left Kabul for Doha on Wednesday, described his visit to Kabul as ‘most productive’.

In his recent tweet he said: “I am off to Doha, with a stop in Islamabad. In Doha, if the Taliban do their part, we will do ours, and conclude the agreement we have been working on.”

“Wrapping up my most productive visit to Afghanistan since I took this job as Special Rep. The US and Afghanistan have agreed on next steps. And a negotiating team and technical support group are being finalized.”

This comes as Khalilzad is preparing for the eighth round of US-Taliban negotiations which might lay ground for a sustainable peace in the country.

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