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Peace team likely to discuss reduction in violence at Sundayís meeting

The head of Afghanistanís High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah said negotiators would discuss a reduction in violence when they met with Taliban representatives on Sunday.

In an interview with Reuters, Abdullah said: "One of the topmost issues on the minds of the people is reduction in violence in a significant way ... and also getting to ... hopefully a permanent ceasefire," Abdullah said adding it would be one of the first issues discussed when negotiators met Sunday.

Despite peace talks having started in Doha between the two parties, violence continues around the country.

Early Sunday a Kunduz provincial council member, Fawzia Jawad Yaftali, told Ariana News that a group of Taliban fighters had attacked a police checkpoint in the Shinwari area on the outskirts of Kunduz city.

She said the attack began at 11pm, and that at least six Afghan security forces were killed.

Yaftali stated that once air support arrived, the Taliban retreated.

The Kunduz police chief also confirmed the clash but declined to comment on police casualties.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, as historic peace talks got underway, fighting was reported in 18 provinces across Afghanistan.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the majority of attacks were reported in Uruzgan, Herat, Jawzjan, Ghazni, Balkh, Ghor and Faryab.

Calls for a reduction in violence have been at the heart of messages these past few days from the Afghan people, government and foreign organizations and countries.

One such message on Saturday was from the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yusuf bin Ahmed Al-Uthaimin.

He "renewed his appeal to negotiators and all leaders and parties in Afghanistan to work together to seize this historic opportunity for an urgent and lasting cessation of fighting and violence and to adhere to constructive dialogue to reach comprehensive reconciliation and lasting peace within the framework of the peace process that Afghanistan has."

NATO, in turn, stated Saturday: "Current violence levels - driven by Taliban attacks against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces - remain unacceptably high and undermine confidence in the peace process. We call on the Taliban to take decisive steps toward ending violence."

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/20201


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