Republican team returns for consultations amid break from talks

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KABUL: The Afghan government negotiators are scheduled to return to Kabul on Monday, taking their break from their three-month-long discussions until the next round of the talks gets going.


According to the negotiating members, the current round of talks has ended as they have agreed on an agreement composed of 21 articles for the procedural rules besides finalizing the preliminary list for the agenda of peace talks.


Sources familiar with the peace process indicate that the Afghan negotiating team’s main demands were to preserve the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the country’s Constitution, the achievements and freedoms, as well as maintain the Afghan security and defense forces.


In addition, they have reportedly demanded the media’s liberty, a ceasefire, maintaining national institutions, and opposing foreign fighters.


Meanwhile, the Afghan government rejected the interim government matter in the discussions.


“The delegation will return to Kabul for consultations, not for rest, to find common ground for all sides in the talks,” said Habiba Sarabi, a member of the Afghan republic’s negotiating team.  


“An interim government is a mirage. Returning to the past is a false, imaginary hope,” said presidential adviser Waheed Omer.


Meanwhile, the sources state that the Taliban demands included an Islamic government without any suffix or prefix, establishing an Islamic council, women’s freedoms and rights “within Islamic principles.”