Xinhua Chinese Newspaper
July 22, 2015
The Afghan government has been preparing for the second round of peace talks with the Taliban, reported a local newspaper on Wednesday.
“Preparations are now underway for the second round of peace negotiation talks with the Taliban,” Daily Outlook Afghanistan quoted Shahzada Shahid, Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) spokesman, as saying.
The first face-to-face talks between a delegation of the Afghan government and Taliban representatives took place in Pakistan earlier this month and both sides agreed to hold a second round of talks by the end of this month.
The peace body has appointed an executive committee for purpose of finalizing the agenda of the upcoming meeting in close consultation with Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, political figures and other government leaders, Shahid said in the report.
The Afghan government set up a 70-member HPC and launched the peace and reconciliation process in 2010 to encourage Taliban militant group to disarm and give up militancy against the government.
However, the hope for peace in the country has been revived after Mullah Mohammad Omar, the leader of the Taliban, announced this month his group’s readiness to join the peace dialogue with the Afghan government.
Before the first meeting between the Taliban and the government team in Pakistan, President Ghani said that the preliminary peace negotiations will discuss three main issues, including ways to turn the meeting into a continuous process, undertaking confidence building measures and preparing a list of important issues to be put on the agenda of the next round of peace negotiations, according to media reports.
Among other topics, the ceasefire might have been the main issue of the upcoming negotiations while the exact location of the talks still remained unknown.