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Afghanistan

Afghans Upbeat About Talks, But Warn Against Deal On Gains

Afghans on Sunday said their hopes of peace had been raised following last week’s talks between the US and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, but warned that no deal should compromise the gains achieved over the past 17 years.

Members of the public also called for details of the talks to be released.

“The warring factions should endorse peace, all parties to the war should come with some concessions,” said one Kabul resident, Mohammad Irfan.

“We hope that these talks are in the interests of Afghanistan and the entire world; when there is peace in Afghanistan, this will be to the benefit of regional countries too,” said Hamidullah, another Kabul resident. 

Meawhile, some residents said that details of the peace talks between the US and the Taliban must be disclosed so that people know what issues were discussed during the process.

“People of Afghanistan are not aware of details of the talks and they are not informed whether these talks were in their favor or not,” said Idris, another resident.

“All talks are carried out behind closed doors; they are not even allowing the media to observe these closed door talks - to know what they are talking about, therefore we do not have any idea about our future,” said Mukhtar Hazrati, another resident.

Meanwhile, a number of women have also said they have strong reservations about the peace talks with the Taliban.

“Afghan youths must be given a role and government must hear their voice about peace,” said Maryam, a resident in Kabul.

“We want our rights (to be upheld), we want to go to academies for education, we want to go to university, we want the freedom of speech to work,” said Nazanin, another resident.

This comes a day after reports surfaced in the media that US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban had made “significant progress” over six days of talks in Doha, Qatar.

Khalilzad said he had “more productive” meetings than in the past in Qatar. After wrapping up talks on Saturday in Doha, he left for Kabul for “consultations”.

“Meetings here were more productive than they have been in the past. We made significant progress on vital issues,” he said in a tweet on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his US counterpart Mike Pompeo also welcomed the developments.

Pompeo has hailed what he called “significant progress” made by Khalilzad and said on Twitter: “Encouraging news from [Khalilzad].”

"The US is serious about pursuing peace, preventing Afghanistan from continuing to be a space for international terrorism and bringing forces home. Working with the Afghan govt and all interested parties, the US seeks to strengthen Afghan sovereignty, independence and prosperity," Pompeo tweeted.

Pakistan’s Qureshi on Sunday said last week’s talks between the United States and the Taliban was a "major diplomatic victory".

This came after six days of talks between the US and Taliban – talks that were originally scheduled for only two days.

Afghanistan

Afghans Upbeat About Talks, But Warn Against Deal On Gains

Members of the public also called for details of the discussions to be released publicly.

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Afghans on Sunday said their hopes of peace had been raised following last week’s talks between the US and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, but warned that no deal should compromise the gains achieved over the past 17 years.

Members of the public also called for details of the talks to be released.

“The warring factions should endorse peace, all parties to the war should come with some concessions,” said one Kabul resident, Mohammad Irfan.

“We hope that these talks are in the interests of Afghanistan and the entire world; when there is peace in Afghanistan, this will be to the benefit of regional countries too,” said Hamidullah, another Kabul resident. 

Meawhile, some residents said that details of the peace talks between the US and the Taliban must be disclosed so that people know what issues were discussed during the process.

“People of Afghanistan are not aware of details of the talks and they are not informed whether these talks were in their favor or not,” said Idris, another resident.

“All talks are carried out behind closed doors; they are not even allowing the media to observe these closed door talks - to know what they are talking about, therefore we do not have any idea about our future,” said Mukhtar Hazrati, another resident.

Meanwhile, a number of women have also said they have strong reservations about the peace talks with the Taliban.

“Afghan youths must be given a role and government must hear their voice about peace,” said Maryam, a resident in Kabul.

“We want our rights (to be upheld), we want to go to academies for education, we want to go to university, we want the freedom of speech to work,” said Nazanin, another resident.

This comes a day after reports surfaced in the media that US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban had made “significant progress” over six days of talks in Doha, Qatar.

Khalilzad said he had “more productive” meetings than in the past in Qatar. After wrapping up talks on Saturday in Doha, he left for Kabul for “consultations”.

“Meetings here were more productive than they have been in the past. We made significant progress on vital issues,” he said in a tweet on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his US counterpart Mike Pompeo also welcomed the developments.

Pompeo has hailed what he called “significant progress” made by Khalilzad and said on Twitter: “Encouraging news from [Khalilzad].”

"The US is serious about pursuing peace, preventing Afghanistan from continuing to be a space for international terrorism and bringing forces home. Working with the Afghan govt and all interested parties, the US seeks to strengthen Afghan sovereignty, independence and prosperity," Pompeo tweeted.

Pakistan’s Qureshi on Sunday said last week’s talks between the United States and the Taliban was a "major diplomatic victory".

This came after six days of talks between the US and Taliban – talks that were originally scheduled for only two days.

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