Peace Talks’ Afghan Government and Taliban Begins in Doha

Photo by Estern Eye

Doha, MINA – After nearly two decades of war that has killed tens of thousands, peace talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban have opened in Qatar’s capital.

Key speakers at Saturday’s (Sept 12) opening ceremony at a hotel in Doha included Abdullah Abdullah, chairperson of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The negotiations, where the two warring sides will sit face-to-face for the first time, will start on Monday. Al Jazeera reported.

For his part, Abdullah spoke about seeking a dignified and lasting peace.

“I believe that if we give hands to each other and honestly work for peace, the current ongoing misery in the country will end,” Abdullah said, calling for a “humanitarian ceasefire”, he said.

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Baradar, meanwhile, repeated his group’s demand for the country to adopt an “Islamic system”.

“I want all to consider Islam in their negotiations and agreements, and not to sacrifice Islam to personal interests,” he said.

Menwhile, Abdullah Abdullah called for a ‘humanitarian ceasefire’.

Pompeo, for his part, told the Afghan sides that “the choice of your future political system is, of course, yours to make” as he urged them to “seize the opportunity” to secure peace.

Kicking off proceedings earlier on Saturday, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said both parties must “rise above all form of division by reaching an agreement on the basis of no victor and no vanquished”. (T/RS2/RE1)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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