30 October 2020

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Ceasefire Still Main Topic in Doha Peace Talks: Afghan Negotiators

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Kabul (BNA) The peace negotiating team of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Dohan said on Monday that the main issue in the talks with Taliban representatives was ceasefire, that yet to reach an agreement on it.
Earlier on Sunday a member of the Afghan negotiating team, Nader Naderi, said that contact groups involving Afghan and Taliban negotiators met in an effort to finalize rules and procedures for the ongoing peace talks in Doha.
He tweeted on Monday: “Contact groups of both delegations held a meeting today and discussed ways of finalizing rules and procedure.”
Addressing a video press conference, he said, “What is very important and what we are still discussing are two main issues that have been brought to the table ahead of time and we need to come up with a solution that will continue to be discussed today.”
Nader Naderi said the debate on Afghanistan’s values should end soon in order to discuss fundamental issues --- ceasefire and end of conflict --- because it was people’s demand.
He added they knew the people of Afghanistan were hoping for a good outcome of the talks, so their colleagues were working responsibly.
Meanwhile, another member of the negotiating team Mawlawi Attaullah Lodin said Sunday that the Afghan team and the Taliban peace talks team have not yet reached a consensus on the agenda and framework for negotiations going forward.
Lodin, whose video message was posted to the official Afghan negotiating team’s Twitter page said the team is fully aware of Afghanistan’s calls for an immediate ceasefire but that the talks are complicated and will need time for agreements to be reached.
He said: “We hope to finalize the agenda and that both sides agree to it. Thereafter a ceasefire should be called.”
Meanwhile the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said the Taliban will not accept a permanent ceasefire until there is a political settlement in Afghanistan,
Talking to a US television, Khalilzad said the Taliban were trying to wait until a political settlement was reached and will announce ceasefire after a general agreement.
However, previously Khalilzad had repeatedly said that the US-Taliban agreement would be signed on the condition of a ceasefire in Afghanistan, but it did not happen.

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