US Special Envoy Optimistic About Second Round of Peace Talks


The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Daniel F. Feldman, on Friday expressed optimism about possible development at the next round of peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban – which has been postponed at the request of the Taliban.

The outgoing envoy hoped the second round of talks which he said would be held without preconditions could put an end to Afghanistan war.

“The Afghan government wants us to support or be an observer in these talks as we were for July 7 … without preconditions that who would be there,” Feldman told reporters. “Our only redlines for an end stage are the same through that the Taliban split from al-Qaeda, that it renounce violence and that it embrace the Afghan Constitution including the rights of women but there are no preconditions to begin a conversation.”

These statements came a day after Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the much-awaited second round of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban had been postponed at the request of Afghan Taliban leadership.

The talks were due to take place today (Friday) after the first round took place on July 7 in Pakistan’s resort town of Murree.

In a statement issued by the ministry, Pakistan said: “In view of the reports regarding the death of Mullah Omar and the resulting uncertainty, and at the request of the Afghan Taliban leadership, the second round of the Afghan peace talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on 31 July 2015, is being postponed.”

The statement went on to say that “Pakistan and other friendly countries of Afghanistan hope that the Taliban leadership will stay engaged in the process of peace talks in order to promote a lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

However, the first round of the talks, which was the first ever direct meeting with the Taliban, was called productive by the Afghan delegation that met with the Taliban and Haqqani members.

Kabul’s delegation to the first round of talks, included Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) political deputy; Haji Di Mohammad HPC member; Farhadullah another HPC member; Faizullah Zaki, the head of the First Vice President’s Office; Asadullah Sadati, representing the Second Vice President’s Office; Eng. Muhammad Asem, representative to the Chief Executive; and Mohammad Natiqi, representing the Second Deputy Chief Executive, were all present at the meeting.

Mullah Yahya, a member of Haqqani network, Latif Mansoor from Taliban’s Quetta Shura and Abbas Akhund, representing Taliban’s Qatar group, were the key negotiators for the Taliban, an Afghan delegation member told TOLOnews on condition of anonymity.

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