• publish: 3 September 2020
  • time: 12:47 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 15186
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Stanekzai: Talks to start soon

Masoom Stanekzai, the head of the Afghan negotiating team, said Thursday that intra-Afghan negotiations with the Taliban would start “soon”.

In a Twitter post, Stanekzai said: “The recent resolution of the Consultative Peace Jirga is in fact a roadmap for direct peace talks based on the national interests of the country.

“The negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, on behalf of the people and the government, will soon begin peace talks with the goal of a prosperous, free and united Afghanistan in which the rights of all citizens are protected.”

Stanekzai did not give any details on when talks would start although speculation has been rife this week that a negotiating team would leave Kabul Thursday for Doha, Qatar, for talks with the Taliban. 

This comes after the Afghan government released 200 of the 320 hardcore Taliban prisoners as per the Doha agreement signed in February between the US and the Taliban. 

Officials said the prisoner release process would soon be complete and once this was done talks would start. 

On Wednesday, Faraidoon Khawzon, a spokesman for the High Council for National Reconciliation, said as soon as the prisoner release process has been completed a team will travel to Doha.

According to Khawzon: “All obstacles ahead of the intra-Afghan talks have been removed. The prisoner swap process will be completed soon. After the completion of the process, the talks will start.”

President Ashraf Ghani also met with the negotiating team in Kabul on Wednesday and emphasized the importance of the task that lay ahead. 

He was joined at the meeting by the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah.

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