Afghan peace talks must resume on Jan 5: Khalilzad

Kabul: US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has said “it is imperative” that the peace talks between the negotiating teams of the Kabul government and the Taliban “must resume on January 5 as agreed”.

Khalilzad’s remarks came after the two sides confirmed to have exchanged their lists about the agenda of the peace talks, which were formally launched on September 12 in the Qatari capital, and that the next phase of the discussions will begin on January 5, 2021, reports TOLO News.

Earlier, the two teams mutually agreed to a three-week break.

Taking to Twitter, the special envoy said: “Unfortunately, the war continues. The need for a political understanding, reduction in violence and a ceasefire remains urgent.

“Due to what is at stake, it is necessary that there be no delay in the resumption of talks and resume on January 5, as agreed.”

He also confirmed the two sides were taking a break to “consult on the agenda items”.

According to TOLO News, in its draft of demands, the Afghan government’s team has added ceasefire, preservation of national sovereignty, media freedom and the prohibition of activity by foreign fighters in the war-torn country.

Meanwhile, the Taliban’s demands include an Islamic government structure, establishment of an Islamic council, and ensuring women’s rights and the rights of all citizens based on Islamic principles.

Image courtesy of (credit: Wikimedia)

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