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Peace indisputable desire of Afghans: Karzai

Renewed negotiations expected to pave the way for intra-Afghan talks to end merciless war

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KABUL: Former President Hamid Karzai has strongly welcomed the resumption of peace talks between US and the Taliban, hoping this round of negotiations to end the war and violence in the country.

The first day of US-Taliban negotiations was resumed on Saturday after three months of break when US President Donald Trump abruptly halted diplomatic efforts that could end the war. The talks also carried on Sunday that reduction in violence and ceasefire has dominated the talks, according to the sources.

“Peace is the indisputable desire and right of the agonized Afghan masses, therefore strongly support efforts in this regard,” Karzai said.

Extreme caution and care must be applied during the talks in a bid to bring about a strong, independent and united system for our country under the umbrella of national unity, ex-President Karzai was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his office.

US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad held the first official talks with Taliban in Qatar’s capital, Doha, a US State Department spokesperson said.

The renewed talks were expected to pave the way for direct talks between the Taliban and the government in Kabul and, ultimately, a possible peace agreement after more than 18 years of war.

“The US rejoined talks in Doha. The focus of discussion will be reduction of violence that leads to intra-Afghan negotiations and a ceasefire,” said the spokesperson.

The meetings in Doha, where the Taliban maintains a political office, follow several days of talks in Kabul, the capital city, where Khalilzad held separate meetings with the Afghan leaders, discussing the Afghan peace process.

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