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Afghan gov't confirms holding talks with Taliban
Afghan government on Wednesday confirmed holding face-on-face peace talks with the Taliban and welcomed it.
"The first-ever formal talks for peace between the delegation of High Peace Council of Afghanistan and Afghan Taliban group was held in Murree city of Pakistan last night and the second round of talks would be held after Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month," a statement of Afghan foreign ministry released here said.
Aimed at contacting anti-government militants and established by former president Hamid Karzai in 2010, the 70-member High Peace Council (HPC) was authorized to contact Taliban and other insurgents groups to convince them to give up fighting, boost reconciliation process and help government in reconstruction process of the war-ravaged country.
"The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan while welcoming beginning the formal talks as the first step towards achieving peace is hopeful that the process could facilitate the way for achieving lasting and honorable peace in the country," the statement further added.
Afghan foreign ministry in the statement also thanked Pakistan for facilitating and hosting the first-ever direct talks between the delegation of High Peace Council and the Taliban and also expressed gratitude to the United States of America and the People 's Republic of China for their joint efforts with other countries to stabilize peace and security in Afghanistan.
Afghan deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, reportedly led a four-member delegation during talks with Taliban delegation in Pakistan on Tuesday night.
[Source: Xinhua, Kabul, 08Jul15]
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