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Kabul peace force ready to carry talks with Taliban

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KABUL: Afghan peace negotiation team is ready to carry intra-Afghan talks with the Taliban—a group that had hammered out peace deal with US on late February in Qatar.

After US-Taliban deal, intra-Afghan talks were expected in immediate move between Kabul administration and the Taliban Qatar-Based group that however, so far failed to produce.

Washington had indicated in several occasions that peace is priority, and when two leaders Ghani and Abdullah reached a compromise after longstanding dispute over reign after rigged vote in September, Trump administration told both leaders that peace process is the priority for the US.

Our internal group discussion on the peace process has been completed, members of the peace negotiation said, adding they are ready to carry intra-Afghan talks with the Taliban. 

It is an unprecedented and historic opportunity for restoration of peace, and the Taliban should have gripped it, according to the negotiation members.

Afghan peace force has 21 members, including four women, and it was formed on March 27.

Former Vice President, Abdul Rashid Dostum called on the High Council for National Reconciliation under chairman of former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah to prepare the agenda for the talks in immediate move.

We have worked throughout the holy month of Ramadan, Fawzia Kofi, a member of the peace negotiating team said. “Discussions were held on contents and other issues that required preparations.” She said that peace force is fully ready to kick start the talks with the Taliban.

Another peace team member, Farooq Majroh said “expectation is here that Taliban to extend ceasefire, and if so, it would raise hope and also taken as a goodwill gesture by the opposite.

Spokeswoman for the State Ministry on Peace Affairs, Najia Anwari, said that the practical measures of the government have led to progress on the peace process. She hoped for intra-Afghan talks as soon as possible.

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