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Avoid impracticable demands, govt tells Taliban

KABUL (Pajhwok): The State Ministry for Peace Affairs on Sunday asked neighboring countries to put pressure on the Taliban to shun demands that were not feasible.

“Without any doubt, the Afghan government and the people want a permanent ceasefire and peace,” Abdullah Khanjani, the deputy state minister for peace, told reporters here  .

He said neighboring countries should put pressure on the Taliban to move beyond demands that are unworkable. However, he did not go into details.

Khanjani said the peace negotiating teams had reached the second round to discuss the agenda to pave the way for fundamental talks.

He called formation of a political and national consensus for peace through the High Reconciliation Council Committee’s meeting as an important step towards peace and said that any country that supported the aspirations of the Afghan people should support the government in peace issues.

“We call on neighboring countries to step up their efforts, especially to bring peace to Afghanistan and reduce violence. The peace process is a long-term process that requires time.”

After nearly three months of discussions between the government and the Taliban, the two sides finally agreed on a 21- article procedure for peace talks last week.

In addition, members of the government-Taliban delegation held their first meeting on the agenda of peace talks and discussed which important issues should be included in the agenda for discussion and consensus on Saturday.

On Friday, the Taliban said in addition to other topics, a ceasefire will be on the agenda of intra-Afghan peace negotiations in Doha.

Mohammad Naeem, spokesman for Taliban’s political office, tweeted on Friday the agenda would be firmed up based on an agreement between the two parties.

bk/ma

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