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PublishDate: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 09:20

Peace Negotiators Meet After More Than Month-Long Gap in Talks

A meeting was held between heads and some members of the negotiating teams in Doha on Monday evening and was focused on the continuation of the negotiations, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_He said the working groups were asked to continue their meetings to finalize the agenda of the negotiations.

The meetings between the two sides have been stalled for the last 36 days.

Abdullah Calls on Taliban to Resume Talks

Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on Sunday said the Taliban violence remains high and that the Afghan people are bearing the sacrifice. He called on the group to return to the negotiating table and resume talks.

Abdullah, who has been attending meetings with representatives from various layers of society in recent weeks, spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and discussed the US’s review of its strategy in Afghanistan.

The US Department of State said in a statement that and Abdullah discussed the United States’ review of its strategy in Afghanistan.

“The Secretary thanked Abdullah for his vital work in support of the Afghanistan , and he expressed America’s resolve to support a just and durable political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan,” it said.
“Ceasefire is the main demand of Afghans and the continuation of violence is taking lives of people every day,” Abdullah said.

Meanwhile, President Ashraf in a telephone conversation with families of fallen soldiers assured them that he will not allow the establishment of an interim government as part of peace efforts.

“Be sure that they (Taliban) will not see an interim government while I am alive. I am not the tree that shakes with winds,” Ghani said.
Sources close to the Taliban said that the Taliban violence has increased due to the Biden administration’s lack of interest in the peace process of Afghanistan.

“Violence has increased because the Taliban thinks that the Biden administration is distancing itself from discussions on peace,” said Faiz Mohammad Zaland, a university lecturer.

Sources close to the Taliban said the group's distance from the peace talks is due to the continued presence of Taliban names on the UN blacklist, uncertainty around the fate of the and uncertainty around assessments of Washington of the .

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