Afghan negotiators leave for Qatar to resume peace talks

Taliban delegates shake hands during talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents in Doha, Qatar

The negotiating team of the Afghan government left for Qatar on Tuesday where they will resume the second round of the peace talks with the Taliban.

The second round, which will begin after a three-week break, will focus on a ceasefire and reduction in violence in the war-torn country, TOLO News reported.

Taking to Twitter on Monday night, Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said: “The Republic’s Negotiation Team will depart tomorrow as it was planed, to Doha to begin the second round of peace talks with Taliban. The team enjoys the full support of the republic and has the mandate to discuss the peace agenda.

“I thank the international community for its continued support for the peace process and the state of Qatar for hosting the second round of the peace talks.

“We are committed to achieving a lasting peace and ask the Taliban to do so. We are looking for a successful second round.”

The second round is set to begin on Tuesday and the Afghan negotiating team said that their consultations on the agenda of the negotiations have ended and they were ready to enter the new phase of the process.

In a tweet on Tuesday, NATO said they wish the Peace Negotiating Team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan the very best for the second round of negotiations in Doha.

NATO said it supports a political settlement that preserves the gains made since 2001 for the benefit of all Afghans.

The peace negotiations, which formally kick-off in September 2020, witnessed a breakthrough last month after the two sides agreed on procedural rules for the talks.

They also confirmed to have exchanged their lists about the agenda of the peace talks.

According to TOLO News, in its draft of demands, the Afghan government’s team has added ceasefire, preservation of national sovereignty, media freedom and the prohibition of activity by foreign fighters in the war-torn country.

Meanwhile, the Taliban’s demands include an Islamic government structure, establishment of an Islamic council, and ensuring women’s rights and the rights of all citizens based on Islamic principles.

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