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News ID: 49577
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 21:39 - 02 December 2020
Wednesday, 02 December 2020_Afghanistan’s government and the Taliban militant group have reached a preliminary deal that sets out rules for further talks, the first written agreement between the two sides since the US-led invasion of 2001.

Afghan government, Taliban reach ‘preliminary’ deal on rules for peace talks“The procedure including its preamble of the negotiation has been finalized and from now on, the negotiation will begin on the agenda,” Nader Nadery, a member of the Afghan government's negotiating team, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban, also confirmed the news on Twitter.

“A joint working committee was tasked to prepare the draft topics for the agenda (of peace talks),” a joint statement from both sides said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, cited the Afghan leader as saying that the agreement is “a step forward towards beginning the negotiations on the main issues, including a comprehensive ceasefire as the key demand of the Afghan people.”

The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, welcomed the "positive development" on Twitter, saying that "this breakthrough should be a springboard to reach the peace wanted by all Afghans."

US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted that the two sides had agreed on a "three-page agreement codifying rules and procedures for their negotiations on a political roadmap and a comprehensive ceasefire."

"This agreement demonstrates that the negotiating parties can agree on tough issues," Khalilzad said.

Representatives from the government in Kabul and those from the Taliban held the first round of the much-awaited intra-Afghan negotiations in the Qatari capital of Doha on September 12. The talks are also attended by politicians from Afghanistan, international organizations and the United States.

The intra-Afghan talks were set to take place in March, but were repeatedly delayed over a prisoner exchange agreement made as part of a deal between the Taliban and the United States, which was in Doha on February 29.

Under the deal, the Taliban agreed to halt their attacks on international forces in return for the US military’s phased withdrawal from Afghanistan and the prisoner exchange with Kabul.

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