‘Afghan govt team violates US-Taliban deal’

Kabul, March 29 (IANS) The Taliban has said that it had some reservations about the peace negotiating team formed by the Afghan government, saying it violated the deal the militant group signed with the US last month, a media report said.

“The team announced by the (Afghan governmnt) is…against the peace agreement between the Taliban and the US,” TOLO News quoted the militant group as saying in a statement on Saturday.

“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 that other sides are not satisfied with the team announced,” it added.

Saturday's announcement comes after the Afghan government on Thursday released a list of 21 delegates intended to hold the intra-Afghan peace talks with the Taliban which was a part of the US-Afghan deal.

According to the State Ministry on Peace Affairs, the peace negotiating group is an inclusive team and has prepared the agenda for talks with the Taliban, in order to reach a negotiated settlement to end the ongoing conflict in the country.

But the Taliban said that the team does not represent all Afghan sides, said the TOLO News report.

The group also said that they will talk to a delegation based on the agreement with the US and other necessary standards agreed upon.

After over 18 months of talks, the US and Taliban inked the long-awaited peace deal on February 29 to end Washington's longest war in its history, withdraw thousands of its troops from Afghanistan and facilitate the peace talks between the armed group and the Kabul government to ensure national reconciliation.

Under the agreement, the US assured Taliban to secure the release of 5,000 militants from Afghan government jails and in return, the Taliban agreed to set free 1,000 Afghan detainees.

To initiate peace talks and ensure the release of prisoners, both the Afghan government and the Taliban have held two lengthy teleconferences over the past week.



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