Historic peace talks between Afghan Government, Taliban begin in Doha

Islamabad, September 12, 2020 (PPI-OT): Historic peace talks between Afghan government’s representatives and Taliban have begun in Doha, Qatar to seek an end to two decades of war that has killed tens of thousands people. Before the warring sides sit down for face-to-face negotiations, they were urged by various countries to reach an immediate ceasefire and to forge an agreement.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the two sides to seize the opportunity to strike a comprehensive peace deal, while acknowledging many challenges lay ahead. The head of Afghanistan’s peace council, Abdullah Abdullah, said that even if the two sides could not agree on all points, they should compromise.

Taliban leader, Mullah Baradar Akhund said that Afghanistan should have an Islamic system in which all tribes and ethnicities of the country find themselves without any discrimination. He said negotiations may have problems but should move forward with patience. Speaking on the occasion, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said an inclusive peace process in which women, youth and victims of conflict are meaningfully represented offers best hope of a sustainable solution.

Guterres expressed hope that progress towards peace can lead to return of millions of Afghans displaced internally and across borders to their homes. Expressing his views, China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said cessation of violence and durable peace is strongest wish of over 37 million Afghan people and shared expectation of regional countries and international community.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said a humanitarian ceasefire must be priority at the beginning because fighting and talks cannot go together. He said we are ready to contribute to this process in every possible way including hosting a round of the talks.

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