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HPC optimistic about direct talks with Taliban

HPC optimistic about direct talks with Taliban

Oct 16, 2018 - 19:45

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The High Peace Councilinfo-icon (HPC) on Tuesday arranged a consultative meeting regarding the peace process and informed the participants about Afghanistaninfo-icon’s inching closer to peace talks with the Talibaninfo-icon.

The meeting was attended by university professors, scholars and media members. “In the past two years, we have been working on building confidence in order to have talks with the armed opposition," said Mohammad Akram Khapalwak, head of the High Peace Council.

“And now the ground is favorable and we are getting closer to talks with the armed opposition,” the top peace negotiator said, calling the meeting the first step in beginning talks with the rebels because ideas and suggestions of the participants would be included in the plan to negotiate with the Taliban.

He said the US had offered cooperation in the Afghanistan reconciliation process and recently appointed ambassador Zalmai Khalilzad to work alongside the Afghan government for direct talks with the Taliban.

He said he did not believe the US and the Taliban had discussed the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in Qatar.

“It is a topic which needs to be discussed and the Afghans should be made part of it,” said Khapalwak.

He added the people of Afghanistan wanted peace in the country but some circles within the government at the behest of neighboring countries were creating hurdles in the reconciliation process.

Khpalwak said most the peace drives that took place though the HPC were symbolic and therefore the people and armed opponents did not trust the peace body.

Raz Mohammad Dalili, head of the Sanai Development Orgnization said, the government had not yet come up with a clear peace strategy.

Lotfullah Najafizada, in charge of news at Tolo Television, said today there was greater presence of the US forces in Afghanistan and it would be better if the US and the Taliban sit together and talk peace.

He said a strong and publically supported delegation could help bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

Mualvi Attaur Rahman Saleem, deputy HPC head, said the views of the participants would be incorporated in the peace plan and made part of negotiations with the Taliban. “We are closer to direct talks with the armed opponents,” he said.

Habiba Surabi, deputy head of the HPC, said a national consensus on peace in the country had been created and the main discussion would be on the pullout of foreign forces and protection of the achievements of the past 16 years, she said.



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