Reconciliation council leadership approves guideline for talks

KABUL (Tolo News): The leadership committee of the High Council for National Reconciliation in their fourth meeting on Saturday approved the guideline for the ongoing peace negotiations between the Afghan Republic team and the Taliban, the council said in a statement. The leadership committee–that consists of prominent Afghan politicians–discussed the peace process, the start of the second round of the talks and reiterated their full support to the Afghan negotiating team, the statement said.

They also exchanged views on the guideline for the talks and insisted on unity and inclusivity, head of the council Abdullah Abdullah said in a tweet. Members of the committee, including former president Hamid Karzai, former mujahideen leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, said the meetings of the committee will be held in short gaps aligned with progress in the peace talks.

Abdullah said in the meeting that the negotiating team has full authority in talks on the agenda of the negotiations. He said the negotiating team will keep the leadership committee updated about the negotiations and will refer to the committee if consultations and decision-making are required.

The leadership committee said that the country’s achievements and national sovereignty should be preserved in the talks and that Afghans are seeking permanent, dignified and nationwide peace, according to a statement by the council. An official of the reconciliation council said the Afghan republic will start their “basic discussions” with the Taliban negotiators on Saturday.

The negotiating team of the Afghan Republic left Kabul for Doha last week to begin the second round of the negotiations. The team said they will focus on ceasefire as a priority and will also discuss the type of a future government. In the first round of the talks that continued for three months, the two sides agreed on procedural rules for the negotiations. Violence remains high in the country despite efforts for peace.