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Peace is priority but no progress yet in Doha talks, Sediqqi says

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KABUL: Peace is the priority for the Afghan government, Spokesman for the President Ghani said. In a press briefing on Wednesday, Sediq Sediqqi said no breakthrough has been made in the talks between the Afghan peace team and the Taliban negotiating members in Doha of Qatar.

He rejected reports of breakthrough in the Doha talks as incorrect. A source recently said that a significant progress was made in the talks and both sides agreed on common grounds to kick start the intra-Afghan talks.   

US Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale said recently that “significant progress” had been made in intra-Afghan negotiations as the sides reached a tentative agreement on rules and procedures that should allow the negotiators to move ahead to start setting an agenda.

The deadlock is yet to be broken, Sediqqi said. “Taliban are lingering on issues which are not in principles and limits of our negotiation team.” Sediqqi says such demands will never be accepted by the Afghan people.

Negotiating framework that has come out from Loya Jirga for peace is making the core attitude of the talks. He called on the Taliban to embrace the opportunity for peace.

The Taliban did not give a green signal to the demand of the Afghan people for a ceasefire. “Taliban should at least accept the demand of the international community’s demand for a comprehensive ceasefire,” Sediqqi added.

A breakthrough in the prelude to Afghanistan peace talks has failed to materialise after more than two months of intensive negotiations.

Afghanistan is hopeful that a peace agreement with the Taliban could be reached to end the war by reconciling the militants with a power-sharing deal, but the preliminary talks that started months ago have not produced a tangible outcome so far.

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