Afghan gov't says peace talks with Taliban next month
President's close aide says team of negotiators has been prepared for proposed peace talks in a European country
In a major revelation, an Afghan official announced on Saturday that the much-awaited face-to-face talks with the Taliban will start within the next two weeks in a European nation.
State Minister for Peace Affairs, Abdul Salam Rahimi - a close aide to President Mohammad Ashram Ghani, said in a statement that a 15-member team including religious scholars, women and civil society members representing Kabul at those proposed talks has been finalized.
Rahimi also called for immediate reduction in violence across the country.
The talks would be held in Germany, Salam Afghanistan, a local radio, reported earlier this week.
Germany jointly hosted with Qatar an intra-Afghan dialogue for peace in Doha attended by Afghan civil society representatives, the Taliban and Afghan officials in personal capacity.
Potzel Markus, German envoy for Afghanistan, and Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani, special envoy of the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar, opened the dialogue in Doha.
“We have taken the initiative for this dialogue to pave the way for peace in Afghanistan. Talks cannot be enough. Dialogue has to turn into meaningful negotiating process. Afghanistan‘s future can only be determined by Afghans,” the German envoy tweeted.
There has been no immediate reaction from the Taliban about recent remarks by the Afghan minister regarding the peace talks.
Afghanistan has witnessed an evident surge in violence this month.
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