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Afghan president forms team for peace negotiations with Taliban

Afghan president forms team for peace negotiations with Taliban


Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani says he has formed a 12-strong negotiating team to seek a peace agreement that would include the Taliban in a democratic and inclusive society that respects the rights of women. He disclosed this at a U.N. conference on Wednesday.

Ghani said;

“I’m pleased to announce today that after several months of intensive consultation with our citizens across the country, we have formulated a road map for peace negotiations”.

“We have formed the required bodies and mechanisms to pursue a peace agreement. We are now moving ahead into the next chapter of the peace process.”

Ghani said his chief of staff would lead the negotiating team, and there would also be an advisory board, comprising nine diverse and representative committees, to input into the negotiations.

“Presidential elections in the spring are key to successful peace negotiations. The Afghan people need an elected government with a mandate to obtain ratification, implement the peace agreement and lead the societal reconciliation process.”

“Implementation will take a minimum of five years to reintegrate six million refugees and internally displaced people,” he said.

The key confidence building measures would need to happen early on, within the first year, he added.

The offer of peace was unconditional but the peace was conditional on acceptance by Afghan society, he said.

Afghanistan’s chief executive Abdullah Abdullah said the five-phased approach would start with an intra-Afghan dialogue, followed by discussions with Pakistan and the United States, then regional actors, the Arab Islamic world and finally NATO and non-NATO countries.

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