Afghanistan's Abdullah Warns Government-Taliban Ceasefire Negotiations Will Take Time
11:20 GMT 13.09.2020
DOHA (Sputnik) - The ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in the Qatari capital of Doha will be lengthy, as a decades-long war cannot be concluded in a matter of days, Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, said at a press conference on Sunday.
"In a day or two, these problems will not be solved, but the first step that people want is a reduction in violence. A long war does not simply end in a few days," Abdullah remarked.
Government and Taliban negotiators are aware of the desire of Afghan people for a reduction in violence in the country, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation stated.
"The people of Afghanistan want the violence to end as soon as possible, we are talking about it and both sides will discuss it, as per the agenda. The spirit of our team is strong enough to move towards negotiations," Abdullah remarked.
Both the government and the insurgent group have expressed a willingness to continue the negotiations, Abdullah stated, adding that the current opportunity to reach peace should not be missed.
At the same press conference, Masoom Stanekzai, the ex-chief of the National Directorate of Security who is heading the government's negotiating team, praised the spirit of the talks so far.
"There was a positive spirit in the conversation, the atmosphere was very good before going into controversial discussions. If we move forward in this spirit, the result will be good as both sides have a responsibility to end the war," Stanekzai stated.
The lead negotiator for the government added that his team's primary responsibility at the talks was to the Afghan people.
The landmark peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban began in Doha on Saturday after both sides successfully completed a prisoner exchange arrangement.
The US and the Taliban agreed on a peace deal on February 29, with this agreement intended to pave the way for the immediate commencement of intra-Afghan talks.
However, this dialogue was delayed multiple times as both the government in Kabul and the insurgent group disagreed over the prisoner exchange process.
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