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Abdullah expresses support for inclusive peace delegation

31 Mar 2020 Salam Watandar

KABUL (SW) - Abdullah Abdullah, "president of the inclusive government", on Tuesday expressed support for the official delegation for peace talks with Taliban as an important step.

In a statement, he said his differences over presidential elections aside, but he gives priority to the peace process. "Though, there isn't an acceptable solution found to resolve the political crisis stemming from the elections marred by rigging, my promise is not to undermine the peace process due to other issues", he said.

President Ghani's spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, said in a tweet that the Taliban now has no more reasons to delay the intra-Afghan talks.

“No more excuses, no more reasons to delay the talks if the Taliban are committed to peace and comply to that agreement they signed,” Sediqqi said.

The consensus among rival politicians has been hailed by the European Union.

“The EU Delegation in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission based in Kabul welcome the agreement by political leaders on an inclusive negotiation team. This constitutes an important step towards starting intra-Afghan negotiations and solving the domestic political crisis. We offer our full support to the newly established team. We encourage all political leaders to promote the effective participation of women, youth and victims,” it said in a statement.

Earlier, the Taliban had announced they would not hold talks with a 21-member peace delegation announced by the Afghan government. "We shall only sit for talks with a negotiation team that conforms with our agreements", the group's spokesman Zabiullah Mujahed said.

Before this, Zalmay Khalilzad. U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, said in a series of tweets that this consensus is a meaningful step that moves the parties significantly closer to intra-Afghan negotiations.

"I want to congratulate Afghan government, political & civil society leaders for coming together. They've forged an inclusive negotiating team for talks with the Taliban. The Islamic Republic delegation reflects the true tapestry of the nation and the instrumental role of women", he said.

The government has announced a 21-member committee under former intelligence chief Mohammed Masoum Stanekzai to start the intra-Afgan talks.


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