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Peace talks in near future: Abdullah

Peace talks in near future: Abdullah

Feb 23, 2015 - 12:56

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Monday hinted at early beginning of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Talibaninfo-icon leadership, but said national interests would be kept supreme.

Chairing a meeting of the council of ministers, Abdullah assured the Afghans that national interest would not be damaged in the peace process, the details of which would be released in the next few days.

He said the nation would be kept onboard with regard to any progress in the yet to be started negotiations and that no behind the scene deal would be struck with the insurgents.

"The people of Afghanistaninfo-icon will be informed from where these talks will start and what are the developments during the talks,” Abdullah said.

"The chief of staff of Pakistaninfo-icon's [army] and his delegation visited Afghanistan a few days ago, we welcome that they said Afghanistan's enemy is Pakistan's enemy, and Pakistan has told those people that are involved in the war that they do not have any other option than negotiating with Afghanistan's government", he said.

The CEO said every Afghan wanted peace and stability and they were optimistic the new peace bid would help stabilise Afghanistan.

The Taliban have not yet formally confirmed the possible direct talks between them and the Kabul administration, but there has been growing speculation in recent weeks that new peace talks could be agreed after a Taliban delegation visited Beijing for discussions with the Chinese government.

The fresh talks are most likely to be held in Doha, Qatar, where the insurgent group has maintained a political commission to explore political settlements for the last three years.

A former senior Taliban official confirmed there had been significant progress in creating the right atmosphere for talks which he expected to start soon.

"You will be given very important details regarding peace talks by tomorrow or the day after tomorrow", he said.

President Ghani a day earlier said the Afghans should seize the latest emerging opportunity to win peace in their country. He said grounds for peace talks had never been better in the past.

Ghani has waged a strategic campaign to persuade Pakistan that closer security cooperation could dramatically reduce terrorism in the two countries.


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