Kabul, Sep 3 (IANS) Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, met the negotiation team ahead of the much-awaited intra-Afghan talks with the Taliban, the Presidential Palace announced.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Palace said that the President assured the members of his government’s support and that Afghans see strength in the team’s diversity, unity and coordination, TOLO News reported.
“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,” Ghani was quoted as saying in the statement.
He said that the government has fulfilled all its commitments to the peace process and the release of Taliban prisoners was a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment.
Meanwhile, Abdullah told the negotiation team members that during the talks, they will have to represent national sovereignty; national values and national interests; women’s rights; and freedom of expression.
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 have said that the process is almost complete, and the talks are expected to begin in Qatar.