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NATO envoy hopes Afghan negotiating team is formed as soon as possible

13 Feb 2020 1TV News

Nicholas Kay, NATO's newly appointed senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, has expressed hope that Afghan team for negotiation with the Taliban is formed as soon as possible.

“We do hope that there will be progress on making a united [negotiating] team as quickly as possible and the people put the national interest first and the personal or political interest second,” Kay said addressing reporters in Brussels on the sidelines of NATO’s defense ministerial meeting.

He emphasized on the need for inclusivity of the negotiating team.

“The need for an inclusive negotiating team from the Afghan side is real and strong,” Kay said, “We do encourage all Afghan actors to unite in support of the peace process.”

“Obviously, you cannot have 34 million people at the negotiating table, you need much smaller number and the 34 million people, though, must feel that those at the table do represent them and their interests,” Kay said.

Kay also said that a peace agreement will only be enduring if it is built upon the achievements of the last 19 years, which is democratic governance and respect for human rights including women’s rights.

US and Taliban are holding talks in Qatar and the sides could sign a peace deal this month if the group significantly reduces violence, according to reports.

On Tuesday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that there had been “notable progress” in US-Taliban talks.

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