Kabul govt, Taliban sign accord to move forward: Pakistan ..

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Kabul govt, Taliban sign accord to move forward: Pakistan welcomes breakthrough in intra-Afghan dialogue

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday welcomed the announcement regarding the agreement reached on rules and procedures by the Afghan parties in Doha, which came about after months of negotiations. After decades of war, the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban have now a written agreement to move forward. “This is another significant step forward. The agreement reflects a common resolve of the parties to secure a negotiated settlement. It is an important development contributing towards a successful outcome of Intra-Afghan negotiations, which we all hope for,” said the Foreign Office. In a landmark decision the Afghan government and the Taliban representatives finally reached an agreement on how to move forward on several issues, the most important discussions on a ceasefire.

“The procedure including its preamble of the negotiation has been finalised and from now on, the negotiation will begin on the agenda,” Nader Nadery, a member of the Afghan government’s negotiating team, was quoted as saying by a British wire service.

The Taliban spokesman confirmed the same on Twitter. “Pakistan will continue to support intra-Afghan negotiations, culminating in an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political solution paving the way for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.” added the FO spokesman.

Details of Wednesday’s breakthrough came from US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad who in a series of tweets said that the two sides had agreed on a “three-page agreement codifying rules and procedures for their negotiations on a political roadmap and a comprehensive ceasefire”. While welcoming the agreement, Khalilzad said that this agreement demonstrates that the negotiating parties can agree on tough issues.

“We congratulate both sides on their perseverance and then Qatar for facilitating role as host. The people of Afghanistan now expect rapid progress on a political roadmap and a ceasefire. We understand their desire and we support them,” added Khalilzad. Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban, tweeted that procedures for the talks had been "finalised and from now on, the negotiations will begin on the agenda". The warring sides have been engaging directly for the first time following a landmark troop withdrawal deal signed in February by the insurgents and Washington. Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of Afghanistan´s High Council for National Reconciliation, in a tweet called the development an "initial major step".

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