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Afghan-Taliban peace talks resume amid violence

Kabul: The negotiating team of the Afghan government left for Qatar on Jan 5 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, Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said: “The Republic’s Negotiation Team will depart tomorrow (Jan 5) 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.

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

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.

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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