Afghan and Taliban declare to reach an agreement to initiate peace talks
Islam News – Representatives of both, Afghan government and Taliban declared breakthrough deal to pursue peace talks after 19 years war; and the deal was welcomed by United Nations and Washington.
The agreement lays out the way forward for further discussion but is considered a breakthrough because it will allow negotiators to move on to more substantive issues, including talks on a ceasefire.
“The procedure including its preamble of the negotiation has been finalised and from now on, the negotiation will begin on the agenda,” Nader Nadery, a member of the Afghan government’s negotiating team, told Reuters.
The Taliban spokesman confirmed the same on Twitter.
The agreement comes after months of talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar, encouraged by the United States, while the two sides are still at war, with Taliban attacks on Afghan government forces continuing unabated.
U.S. Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said that the two sides had agreed on a “three-page agreement codifing rules and procedures for their negotiations on a political roadmap and a comprehensive ceasefire”.
Taliban insurgents refused to agree to a ceasefire during the preliminary stages of talks, despite calls from Western capitals and global bodies, saying that that would be taken up only when the way forward for talks was agreed upon.
“This agreement demonstrates that the negotiating parties can agree on tough issues,” Khalilzad said on Twitter.
UN envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons welcomed the “positive development” on Twitter, adding that “this breakthrough should be a springboard to reach the peace wanted by all Afghans”.
Last month, an agreement reached between Taliban and government negotiators was held up at the last minute after the insurgents balked at the document’s preamble because it mentioned the Afghan government by name.
“Both sides also know that Western powers are losing patience and aid has been conditional… so both sides know they have to move forward to show some progress,” said the diplomat, requesting anonymity. Source: Reuters