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Ghani, Abdullah Meet with Negotiation Team Ahead of Talks

President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on Wednesday met with the negotiation team, the Presidential Palace announced.

According to the statement, President Ghani assured the members that as a national team they have the strong support of the government and people of Afghanistan and that Afghans see strength in the team's diversity, unity and coordination.

Representatives of the ulema, women, and youth have political weight in the peace negotiating team and they will represent every section of the society well, said Ghani.

"The main goal of our delegation is to end violence, because the people want lasting peace and the preservation of the values of the new society," added Ghani.

Ghani said that the government has fulfilled all its commitments to the peace process that the international community had hoped for. The release of Taliban prisoners is a clear demonstration of the government's commitment to peace, he said.

President Ghani said that the hope of the people of Afghanistan is to agree on a reduction in violence and a permanent ceasefire in the peace talks to achieve a"lasting and dignified peace."

Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, told the negotiation team members that they have the strong support of the government and the people of Afghanistan, and during the negotiations they are the protectors of national sovereignty, national values and national interests, the republic, women's rights, freedom of expression and they represent all the people of Afghanistan, including the families of victims.

Abdullah also said that the release of Taliban prisoners was not an easy decision.

Earlier, the High Council for National Reconciliation announced that the Taliban has agreed to begin negotiations in a week's time if all of the prisoners are released.

According to sources, the Taliban has released four Afghan army commandos, and the Afghan government has released 200 of the remaining "hardcore" Taliban prisoners. Sources say the process is almost complete, and the talks are expected to begin in Qatar.

Ghani, Abdullah Meet with Negotiation Team Ahead of Talks

Sources say the Taliban has released four ANA commandos, and the government has released 200 more Taliban prisoners.

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President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on Wednesday met with the negotiation team, the Presidential Palace announced.

According to the statement, President Ghani assured the members that as a national team they have the strong support of the government and people of Afghanistan and that Afghans see strength in the team's diversity, unity and coordination.

Representatives of the ulema, women, and youth have political weight in the peace negotiating team and they will represent every section of the society well, said Ghani.

"The main goal of our delegation is to end violence, because the people want lasting peace and the preservation of the values of the new society," added Ghani.

Ghani said that the government has fulfilled all its commitments to the peace process that the international community had hoped for. The release of Taliban prisoners is a clear demonstration of the government's commitment to peace, he said.

President Ghani said that the hope of the people of Afghanistan is to agree on a reduction in violence and a permanent ceasefire in the peace talks to achieve a"lasting and dignified peace."

Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, told the negotiation team members that they have the strong support of the government and the people of Afghanistan, and during the negotiations they are the protectors of national sovereignty, national values and national interests, the republic, women's rights, freedom of expression and they represent all the people of Afghanistan, including the families of victims.

Abdullah also said that the release of Taliban prisoners was not an easy decision.

Earlier, the High Council for National Reconciliation announced that the Taliban has agreed to begin negotiations in a week's time if all of the prisoners are released.

According to sources, the Taliban has released four Afghan army commandos, and the Afghan government has released 200 of the remaining "hardcore" Taliban prisoners. Sources say the process is almost complete, and the talks are expected to begin in Qatar.

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