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Taliban, US involved in controversy of ceasefire, reduction in violence

The Taliban and American negotiators were involved in discussions on Monday over a controversy of ceasefire and reduction in violence but could not reach any understanding.

The US side wants Taliban declare a ceasefire across Afghanistan while Taliban suggest reduction in violence that means they will not carry out attacks in major cities, according to a Taliban leader, who was aware of the talks in Qatar.

"They (Americans) press for a general ceasefire and we have suggested reduction in violence. We consider both are same," the Taliban leader told Daily Times on Monday.

The Taliban leadership council last week approved a brief halt to operations to inch towards signing of the early awaited peace agreement to end the longest war in Afghanistan.

Afghan government leaders are also opposed to the phenomena of the reduction in violence and has been calling for a complete ceasefire before the start of peace talks.

Presidential spokesman Sediq Seddiqui has warned that peace talks will not produce results unless a general ceasefire is announced. Speaking at a news conference in Kabul at the weekend the government does not accept the notion of reduction in violence. Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai has, however, disagreed with Kabulís stance to attach condition of ceasefire for talks.

Talking to the BBC Pashto in Kabul he said any step that could intensify negotiations should be taken immediately. He favoured ceasefire but it should not halt negotiations.

The controversy over the question of ceasefire could further delay signing of the peace agreement that both sides had finalized in August and was scheduled to be signed in mid-September last year. However, President Donald Trumpís abruptly called off the talks after a Taliban bomber killed an American soldiers and 10 other people including a Romanian soldier in Kabul.

The formal talks were resumed in early December after three months but the US special envoy paused the process following a Taliban attack on Bagram airbase.

The stalled talks were resumed this month; however, differences surfaced whether the Taliban should declare ceasefire in whole of Afghanistan or stop attacks in big cities as a first step to move towards signing of the peace agreement that will be followed by intra-Afghan dialogue.

German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Markus Potzel, who met Afghanistanís National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib in Kabul on Sunday said his country will host the intra-Afghan dialog with a "sole purpose of facilitating for the intra-Afghan negotiations and helping the peace process."

A statement from Mohibís office said the German envoy told the NSA that he wants to hear the Afghan government and people on how the next round could be more productive.

In an earlier meeting with German State Minister Niels Annen in Kabul said that it is also necessary to work on elimination of violence and announcement of a countrywide ceasefire in order to determine whether there is unity of command within different Taliban groups and to make sure of the existence of goodwill for peace within Taliban.

Mohib stressed that peace is a priority for Afghan Government and it is necessary that appropriate measures are taken to build trust in this regard.

 

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/13015


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