The negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on Tuesday left Kabul for Doha where they will resume the second round of peace negotiations that are expected to focus on ceasefire and a reduction in violence in the country.
"The leadership committee of the High Council for National Reconciliation on Monday evening met with the Afghan Republic negotiators and discussed the latest developments in the peace process and provided the team clear guidelines for the next round of talks,” Abdullah Abdullah, head of the reconciliation council said.
Abdullah said the Republic’s team has the full support of the nation and has the mandate to discuss the peace agenda.
“We are committed to achieving a lasting peace, and we ask the Taliban to do their part. We are looking for a successful second round,” he added.
US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Monday said he "returns to Doha and the region with expectations that the parties will make tangible progress in the next round of Afghanistan peace negotiations" that are expected to resume Tuesday.
"Both sides must demonstrate they are acting in the best interest of the Afghan people by making real compromises and negotiating an agreement on a political settlement as soon as possible and an immediate significant reduction in violence/ceasefire," Khalilzad said.
"The current levels of violence, including targeted killings, is unacceptable. Those perpetuating the violence seek to undermine the peace process and the country's future. They do not reflect the will of the Afghan people, who yearn for peace," Khalilzad concluded.
The second round of the peace negotiations is set to begin Tuesday and the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan said that their consultations on the agenda of the negotiations have ended and they are ready to enter the new phase of the process.
NATO in a tweet on Tuesday said they wish the Peace Negotiating Team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan the very best for the second round of negotiations in Doha.
NATO said it supports a political settlement that preserves the gains made since 2001 for the benefit of all Afghans.