Members of the Afghan peace negotiation team on Sunday said that they have completed their internal group discussion on the peace process and the team is ready to start peace negotiation talks with the Taliban.
The team members said that there is a historic opportunity for peace and the Taliban must not miss the chance for seizing it.
The 21-member team-- which includes four women-- was announced by the government on March 27.
“The High Council for National Reconciliation should prepare the agenda of the talks as soon as possible. The Taliban say that they are ready, so we also need to take preemptive measures,” said Abdul Rashid Dostum, the former vice president.
“We worked throughout the holy month of Ramadan. Discussions were held on contents, the agenda and the required preparations. The delegation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is fully ready to start the talks. I think now is the right time that the Taliban avoids further war,” said Fawzia Kofi, a member of the peace negotiation team.
“There are expectations for the opposite side (Taliban) to extend the three-day ceasefire and this will mean confidence-building steps and a goodwill gesture,” said Farooq Majroh, a member of peace negotiating team.
“The practical measures that were taken by the government have led to progress on the peace process. We hope to see the negotiations start in the near future,’ said Najia Anwari, a spokeswoman for the State Ministry on Peace Affairs.
The intra-Afghan talks were originally scheduled to start in mid-March. But the talks did not start due to differences between the Afghan government and the Taliban on certain issues.