Afghan Govt. Set to talk with Taliban without Preconditions: Official
Afghanistan government is ready to negotiate with the Taliban militant group without any preconditions, including drafting a new constitution, Ehsan Taheri, spokesman for the country’s High Peace Council (HPC), told RIA Novosti
Publish date : 12/17/2018
Publish Time : 12:09:00

Taheri said on the heels of an Afghanistan peace conference in Moscow that Kabul will not set out any preconditions for direct peace talks with the Taliban, Russia Today reported. Previously, the central government demanded that the militants lay down their arms and respect the constitution, but this is not the case now.

 "Nowadays, we – the government and the High Peace Council – declare that there are no prerequisites for the launch of the talks,” Taheri said.

Established in 2010 by then-President Hamid Karzai, the HPC is a body in charge of negotiating peace with the Taliban.

The long-awaited peace negotiations may start this year or next year. There is “a growing desire” among Taliban commanders to engage in the talks “without intermediaries,” according to the official.

Therefore, Kabul is open to discuss “any issue crucial for Afghanistan’s future,” the official said. There are “no problems” for the government and the Taliban even to talk changes to the country’s constitution because is provisions allow for making amendments.

Now, it is up to the Taliban to respond to the HPC’s peace gesture and confirm if they are ready for direct talks, Taheri noted.

The militant movement has long rejected the government’s offers of talks, saying they will only deal with the US. In the meantime, they sent emissaries to meet with Afghan government officials in Moscow in early November.

The talks in Moscow mark the first time the Taliban has publicly appeared in the international arena since they were removed from power in Afghanistan following the US-led invasion in 2001. The meeting, brokered by Russian diplomats, helped pave the way for a future dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban, Taheri said.

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