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NATO calls for Afghan reduction of violence

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KABUL: The NATO calls on the Taliban to reduce violence as the first step to show they are committed to peace in Afghanistan.

“We want the Taliban to first reduce the violence, then we want a peace agreement which includes the cease fire. The aim is a peaceful solution led by Afghans with an inclusive cease fire as part of that,” said NATO Chief Yens Stoltenberg on Wednesday.

The Taliban militants did not immediately comment, but the insurgent group had earlier accused government forces of increasing the violence in the country.

The Afghan delegation is in Qatar since early September to hold face to face talks with the Taliban over peace. But no progress has been made yet.

However, the NATO secretary-general expressed optimism that Afghan government and Taliban have managed to sit face to face for the first time in the past two decade of the NATO military invasion of Afghanistan that toppled Taliban regime.

He emphasized that a political solution was the only option to end the current situation in the war-hit country.

Meanwhile, the UN envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons is in Qatar to meet negotiating teams from the government and Taliban.

“NATO supports the Afghan peace process,” Stoltenberg said.

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