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Quarrel on peace venue must not dent negotiations

Afghanistan point-man for peace, Abdullah says dispute on venue of intra-Afghan talks must not undermine the whole peace process while insisting on inclusivity of the talks

AT News

KABUL: Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah said that a dispute on the venue of the next round of peace talks between the Afghan and Taliban negotiators should not hinder the ongoing peace process.

Both sides (the Afghan government and the Taliban) must decide on the decision, Abdullah said on Wednesday

President Ashraf Ghani echoed his National Security Advisor’s suggestion that the next round of the intra-Afghan talks should be held in Afghanistan. The Taliban not only rejected the demand, but said empathized that the second phase of the talks should have been held back in Doha of Qatar.

Talking to a press conference, Abdullah said it would be better to have the talks inside the country, but he is not sure because foreign diplomats are also involved in the talks.

Mr. Abdullah called for the inclusion of people in the peace process to ensure a sustainable peace in Afghanistan. As the Afghans are concerned about the violation of the achievements gained during the past two decades, Abdullah said that the rights of ethnic minorities, victims of war and as well as the past achievements would be persevered in the peace negotiations.

Earlier, NSA Hamdullah Mohib said that the government was fully ready to set for talks with the Taliban anywhere the militants preferred in Afghanistan.

Days after his remarks, President Ghani put down confirmation to the government’s offer, saying that if the Taliban claims they are in Afghanistan, why don’t they want to hold talks in Afghanistan. He stressed on the significance of the location and said that “it was important for the people of Afghanistan to know about the sort of the peace negotiations.”

This comes as the negotiation teams of the government and Taliban agreed on a 22-day break to discuss the agendas of the intra-Afghan negotiations with their leadership.

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