Taliban rejects Afghan government’s negotiation committee

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The Taliban rejected the 21-member delegation of Afghan government for negotiations, terms it as inconsistent with the peace agreement.

According to details, the Taliban released a statement saying that the group has some reservations about the peace negotiating team formed by the Afghan government and that the Afghan government can take part in the intra-Afghan talks “only as a side like other Afghan factions.”

“The team announced by the (Afghan govt.) is…against the peace agreement between the Taliban and the US,” said the Taliban statement.

“In order to reach lasting and real peace, this should be formed with the agreement of all sides, so that it can represent others too. But it looks like other sides are not satisfied with the team announced,” the statement said.

Wahid Omar at a press conference on Sunday in Kabul responded to the Taliban statement, saying the Taliban must not raise issues with our delegation, as we also can raise issues with theirs.

All the prisoners released at one time would be not possible, and there are conditions, Omar said, adding that the delegation that has been announced will represent “a united Afghanistan.”

“We have never said what kind of Taliban should form a delegation, so we are asking the Taliban to not make an issue out of it,” he said.

“We hope that the Taliban also forms their delegation and the intra-Afghan talks can start,” he said.

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in a tweet on Saturday said that he is “thankful to his Afghan counterparts for preparing an inclusive negotiating team for intra-Afghan negotiations,” and urged them to also form an inclusive government.

 “I also applaud your commitment to begin releasing prisoners and your commendable effort to set conditions for peace and reconciliation,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Mujahideen leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf welcomed the formation of the negotiating team and said it should have a specific agenda for their talks with the Taliban.

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