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Afghan Govt Expecting Direct Talks With Taliban in Two Weeks

(Last Updated On: June 30, 2019)

The Taliban and Afghan government representatives are expected to hold direct talks in less than two weeks in Germany, an Afghan official said on Sunday.

Sibghatullah Ahmadi, Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the seventh round of talks between the U.S. and Taliban negotiators is crucial.

Ahmadi said that Afghanistan is very close to peace.

This comes as U.S. and Taliban representatives are negotiating behind closed doors since Saturday and the group has always rejected to hold talks with President Ashraf Ghani’s government.

Sources close to the Taliban said that the negotiations are ongoing over the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and a Taliban guarantee that Afghanistan will not be used by terrorists against the U.S. and its Allies.

“I think the two sides are discussing the previous agenda. Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai is leading the Taliban team and the negotiation is expected to have a positive result,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban official.

However, the U.S. negotiating team is expected to focus on a ceasefire and the launch of an intra-Afghan dialogue.

At the same time, the head of the UN mission in Afghanistan emphasizes that the upcoming presidential elections and peace process are top priorities for the United Nations.

“Let me be clear: Neither process should be harmed or held back by the other; both processes must move forward with the full force and commitment of all stakeholders,” Tadamichi Yamamoto, the head of the UN mission said in a statement on Sunday.

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