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Kabul Ready for Unconditional Talks with Taliban, Constitutional Changes Discussion

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Local Editor

Afghanistan is ready to negotiate peace with the Taliban without any preconditions, including drafting a new constitution, a high-ranking government official said on the heels of an Afghanistan peace conference in Moscow.

The Afghan government will not set out any preconditions for direct peace talks with the Taliban, Ehsan Taheri, spokesman for the country’s High Peace Council [HPC], told RIA Novosti in an interview. Previously, Kabul demanded that the insurgent movement lay down its arms and respect the constitution, but this is not the case now.

“Nowadays, we – the government and the High Peace Council – declare that there are no prerequisites for the launch of the talks,” Taheri said.

Established in 2010 by then-President Hamid Karzai, the HPC is a body in charge of negotiating peace with the Taliban group.

The long-awaited peace negotiations may start this year or next year. There is “a growing desire” among Taliban commanders to engage in the talks “without intermediaries,” according to the official.

Therefore, Kabul is open to discuss “any issue crucial for Afghanistan’s future,” the official said. There are “no problems” for the government and the Taliban even to talk changes to the country’s constitution because is provisions allow for making amendments.

Now, it is up to the Taliban to respond to the HPC’s peace gesture and confirm if they are ready for direct talks, Taheri added.

The militant movement has long rejected the government’s offers of talks, saying they will only deal with the US.

In the meantime, they sent emissaries to meet with Afghan government officials in Moscow in early November.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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