Govt., Taliban to begin direct talks in two weeks

By: Suraya Raiszada

Officials of the state ministry on peace affairs say that the government and Taliban group’s representatives will start direct talks by the next two weeks.
A statement released by the ministry said that the state ministry on peace affairs has already begun works on establishing a 15-member delegation to negotiate with the involved side.
The state minister on peace affairs Salam Rahimi says that the delegation’s members are the figures attended Doha meeting.
According to him, the delegation will represent different segments such as ulama, women and civil entities’ members.
The ministry says it will provide all facilities and take necessary preparations for the delegation’s trip to proceed negotiations.
This comes as US special envoy on peace Zalmay Khalilzad has arrived in Kabul to talk about forming a national negotiating team to attend intra-Afghani meeting and discuss the process’s next steps with the government officials, political parties and women advocates’ groups.
Likewise, simultaneously with US special envoy’s visit to Kabul, US department of state said that he would travel to Qatar and begin new round of negotiations between the US and Taliban representatives.
A number of political experts said that efforts will go in vain unless the warring-sides show willingness on peace talks.
They said that if the negotiations were led by the government of Afghanistan and political parties, there will be no doubt it will follow with positive results, because, Afghans know that they can successfully overcome challenges and problems with national unity.
Civil society and women rights advocates’ entities say that the delegation should also represent elite women, because, women can play constructive role in peace process.
Head of Afghan women association Fatana Gilani said that unfortunately, women were not visibly involved in most of national processes, however, no process would succeed without their presence.
She added women’s presence in high peace council is symbolic and there are a few women within its structure, but we expect their number to be equal with men in peace delegation.
Recently, peace talks’ issue has been acute in national and international levels and recently, a number political parties are willing to play role in this regard.
The government of Afghanistan said that we would welcome any step taken by any groups that can draw the insurgents to peace negotiations and honestly steps up in the respect.
This comes as a number of world countries particularly the US is making effort to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and pave the way for peace talks with armed insurgents.

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