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Ghani, Abdullah Teams Meet to Break Deadlock: Abdullah

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday in an interview with TOLOnews said that a delegation from President Ghani's side and a group from his own team held a meeting on Thursday to find a common solution to the election standoff.

“Today a meeting was held between two delegations--from the Presidential Palace and the CEO's office--in an attempt to break the election deadlock, and such meetings will continue,” said CE Abdullah.

Abdullah did not provide more details regarding the meeting, but his first running mate, Enayatullah Babur Farahmand, before the interview, tweeted:” The two electoral teams held direct talks at the request of Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad and Mr Hamid Karzai at the Foreign Ministry hall this afternoon. On both side’s plans for a solution to the electoral crisis were discussed. The meeting ended without a definite result. Elders' mediation was started last week.”

Abdullah’s remarks on electoral crisis:

It will be better for the nation if there is a shared solution, Abdullah said, presumably meaning as opposed to a "parallel government." 

Speaking in the interview, Abdullah said that his team's appointment of governors has ceased. 

“The "appointment" of governors has stopped now, and it will resume if a solution is not found for the electoral crisis,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah says he is still hopeful there will be a solution to the current crisis.

“Any solution that is agreed on by both sides is better than two swearing-in ceremonies,” referring to President Ghani's scheduled inaugural ceremony on Monday.

Abdullah says the US is seeking a solution for the current crisis in the country, as it has noticed this problem.

Abdullah’s remarks on peace process:

He says he saw a draft of the US-Taliban agreement in July and August & there had been no change in it.

About "secret annexes" in the US-Taliban deal, Abdullah said:”One annex is about monitoring the deal, a second one is about military-related activities including reductions in force.”
 
“There is nothing in the two "secret annexes" of the US-Taliban deal that contradicts the interests of Afghans,” said CE Abdullah.
 
Abdullah says the US does not want Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorists and that he does not believe in conspiracy theories regarding the US-Taliban deal.
 
Abdullah says the US-Taliban deal has created an opportunity in which both sides have their roles to play.
 
Abdullah says the Afghan-US declaration has highlighted very well the commitments and relations of the US with Afghanistan during and after the peace process.

Abdullah’s Remarks on Taliban:

During the interview Abdullah says it will be a mistake if the Taliban think that they will take control after the US leaves Afghanistan within the next 14 months.
 
Abdullah says something should be done to ensure the release of prisoners from both sides, but as part of a peace deal.

“If the Taliban fails to live up to their commitments, the United States will decide whether to keep its troops in Afghanistan,” Abdullah said.

Meanwhile, in response to the question about whether he sees a place for the Taliban in the Afghan system, Abdullah said: "Yes, why not!?"

Abdullah’s Remarks on the Release of Taliban Prisoners:

The release of 5,000 prisoners should be part of a peace package, said Abdullah, when he was asked for his position on the prisoners' exchange.

“There should be no conditions for the start of the (intra-Afghan) negotiations, but achievements and values -- of the last two decades -- should be discussed one by one during the talks,” said Abdullah.

“Something must be done about the release of the prisoners; the release of the 5,000 Taliban prisoners must happen within the framework of the peace agreement, and it must be ensured that these prisoners do not go to the battlefield again, this must be part of the peace process,” said Abdullah.

Abdullah further added that: "According to the peace agreement package, peace will not be secured if thousands of inmates remain in custody and hundreds of Taliban are now in jail, as their imprisonment period is over.”

Abdullah’s Remarks on the Peace Negotiation team:

Abdullah said that the negotiating team should be inclusive:

“There should be a countrywide ceasefire with the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations," he said, and "the negotiating team should be inclusive and it should represent all levels of the society,” said Abdullah.

Abdullah said he was not aware of the team that had been sent to Doha before the deal-signing to "make contact" with the Taliban following the event.

“The delegation went to Doha a few days ago, and the Presidential Palace said the delegation had gone to Doha to establish contacts with the Taliban to set up talks among Afghans,” Abdullah said.

So far the delegation in Doha was not able to make contact with the Taliban.

Abdullah says he has never been in favor of a crisis in the country. He says power -- for him -- does not have any value, and he will sacrifice it for peace.

Ghani, Abdullah Teams Meet to Break Deadlock: Abdullah

It will be better for the nation if there is was a shared solution, Abdullah says, speaking of his and Ghani's claim to the presidency.

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Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday in an interview with TOLOnews said that a delegation from President Ghani's side and a group from his own team held a meeting on Thursday to find a common solution to the election standoff.

“Today a meeting was held between two delegations--from the Presidential Palace and the CEO's office--in an attempt to break the election deadlock, and such meetings will continue,” said CE Abdullah.

Abdullah did not provide more details regarding the meeting, but his first running mate, Enayatullah Babur Farahmand, before the interview, tweeted:” The two electoral teams held direct talks at the request of Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad and Mr Hamid Karzai at the Foreign Ministry hall this afternoon. On both side’s plans for a solution to the electoral crisis were discussed. The meeting ended without a definite result. Elders' mediation was started last week.”

Abdullah’s remarks on electoral crisis:

It will be better for the nation if there is a shared solution, Abdullah said, presumably meaning as opposed to a "parallel government." 

Speaking in the interview, Abdullah said that his team's appointment of governors has ceased. 

“The "appointment" of governors has stopped now, and it will resume if a solution is not found for the electoral crisis,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah says he is still hopeful there will be a solution to the current crisis.

“Any solution that is agreed on by both sides is better than two swearing-in ceremonies,” referring to President Ghani's scheduled inaugural ceremony on Monday.

Abdullah says the US is seeking a solution for the current crisis in the country, as it has noticed this problem.

Abdullah’s remarks on peace process:

He says he saw a draft of the US-Taliban agreement in July and August & there had been no change in it.

About "secret annexes" in the US-Taliban deal, Abdullah said:”One annex is about monitoring the deal, a second one is about military-related activities including reductions in force.”
 
“There is nothing in the two "secret annexes" of the US-Taliban deal that contradicts the interests of Afghans,” said CE Abdullah.
 
Abdullah says the US does not want Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorists and that he does not believe in conspiracy theories regarding the US-Taliban deal.
 
Abdullah says the US-Taliban deal has created an opportunity in which both sides have their roles to play.
 
Abdullah says the Afghan-US declaration has highlighted very well the commitments and relations of the US with Afghanistan during and after the peace process.

Abdullah’s Remarks on Taliban:

During the interview Abdullah says it will be a mistake if the Taliban think that they will take control after the US leaves Afghanistan within the next 14 months.
 
Abdullah says something should be done to ensure the release of prisoners from both sides, but as part of a peace deal.

“If the Taliban fails to live up to their commitments, the United States will decide whether to keep its troops in Afghanistan,” Abdullah said.

Meanwhile, in response to the question about whether he sees a place for the Taliban in the Afghan system, Abdullah said: "Yes, why not!?"

Abdullah’s Remarks on the Release of Taliban Prisoners:

The release of 5,000 prisoners should be part of a peace package, said Abdullah, when he was asked for his position on the prisoners' exchange.

“There should be no conditions for the start of the (intra-Afghan) negotiations, but achievements and values -- of the last two decades -- should be discussed one by one during the talks,” said Abdullah.

“Something must be done about the release of the prisoners; the release of the 5,000 Taliban prisoners must happen within the framework of the peace agreement, and it must be ensured that these prisoners do not go to the battlefield again, this must be part of the peace process,” said Abdullah.

Abdullah further added that: "According to the peace agreement package, peace will not be secured if thousands of inmates remain in custody and hundreds of Taliban are now in jail, as their imprisonment period is over.”

Abdullah’s Remarks on the Peace Negotiation team:

Abdullah said that the negotiating team should be inclusive:

“There should be a countrywide ceasefire with the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations," he said, and "the negotiating team should be inclusive and it should represent all levels of the society,” said Abdullah.

Abdullah said he was not aware of the team that had been sent to Doha before the deal-signing to "make contact" with the Taliban following the event.

“The delegation went to Doha a few days ago, and the Presidential Palace said the delegation had gone to Doha to establish contacts with the Taliban to set up talks among Afghans,” Abdullah said.

So far the delegation in Doha was not able to make contact with the Taliban.

Abdullah says he has never been in favor of a crisis in the country. He says power -- for him -- does not have any value, and he will sacrifice it for peace.

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