Start Asia Afghanistan is ready to negotiate peace without preconditions with the Taliban

Afghanistan is ready to negotiate peace without preconditions with the Taliban


Afghanistan is ready to negotiate peace without preconditions with the Taliban, including drawing up a new constitution. A senior government official said after the meeting of the Afghanistan peace conference in Moscow.
The Afghan government will no longer create hurdles for direct peace talks with the Taliban, said Ehsan Taheri, High Peace Council (HPC) spokesman, RIA Novosti in an interview. So far, Kabul has demanded as a precondition that the insurgent movement should lay down its arms and respect the constitution, but that was no longer a prerequisite.

„Today – the government and the High Peace Council – we declare that there are no prerequisites for starting the talks,“ Taheri said.

Founded in 2010 by then-President Hamid Karzai, the HPC is a body responsible for peace negotiations with the Taliban.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will attend a welcoming ceremony on November 3, 2018 hosted by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Read more: Interview: Pakistan’s relations with the USA are getting worse and worse – no way out of sight
Long-awaited peace negotiations can begin this year or next. There is „a growing desire“ among Taliban commanders to conduct talks „without intermediaries,“ the official said.

Therefore, Kabul is open to discussions about „any question that is crucial for the future of Afghanistan,“ the representative added. There are „no problems“ for the government and the Taliban to speak as well about a change in the country’s constitution, because the provisions allow changes to be made.

Now, the ball is with the Taliban to respond to the peace gesture of the HPC and to confirm whether they are ready for direct talks, Taheri stated.

The militant movement long rejected the government’s offer of talks and underlined that it would only deal with the US. Nevertheless, the Taliban sent representatives to speak to Afghan government officials in Moscow in early November.

The talks in Moscow would be the first time that the Taliban have performed internationally at international level since they were overthrown in Afghanistan following the US-led 2001 invasion. The meeting, hosted by Russian diplomats, helped pave the way for a future dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban, Taheri said.

„The atmosphere at the end of the conference was very friendly,“ he said, adding:

The discussions continued in the coffee breaks. There was no negativity at all.

In recent months, the Taliban have also sent delegations to neighboring Uzbekistan and held talks with US diplomats in Qatar, where the political wing of the militant organization maintains an informal liaison office.