Abdullah Abdullah in a statement called the announcement of the 21-member negotiation team an important step to facilitate intra-Afghan talks and said a dignified and permanent peace is a top priority for Afghanistan.
“Our lasting position is that a fair, dignified and sustainable peace is the priority of all Afghan citizens,” he said.
The Afghan government released a list of delegates on March 27--now with 21 members on it--intended to hold intra-Afghan peace talks with the Taliban.
According to the State Ministry on Peace Affairs, the peace negotiating group is an inclusive team and has prepared the agenda for talks with the Taliban, in order to reach a negotiated settlement to end the ongoing conflict in the country.
"Although we have reached no satisfactory agreement to resolve the political crisis in the wake of the 'rigged' presidential election, we are committed to making sure that it does not overshadow peace efforts," said Abdullah
“We welcome and we are thankful to national figures, parliament and other organizations that have made efforts to resolve the current crisis. We acknowledge that there are still considerations by some sides on the makeup of the negotiating team, which are understandable,” Abdullah said.
“We believe that the commencement and continuation of negotiations will provide further opportunity to ensure a more comprehensive representation, given the importance of decisions that are to be made as we go ahead,” he added.
Abdullah said the negotiation team "represents the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and our national interests. We still have time to discuss the team’s reporting mechanism and the source of its authorities."
Meanwhile, former national security adviser Mohammad Haneef Atmar released a statement endorsing the negotiation team announcement and said achieving an enduring and real peace is only acceptable through intra-Afghan negotiations.
Atta Mohammad Noor, former Balkh governor, in a tweet called the government negotiation team "all-inclusive" and said if needed he is ready to assist.