Afghanistan’s Abdullah: Ready for Talks With Taliban at Any Time

Ceasefire is only condition for peace talks

Afghanistan’s Abdullah Abdullah has confirmed that the government is prepared to begin direct peace talks with the Taliban, and that they could start “at any moment.” The hope is to start these talks in continuation from the Eid al-Fitr truce and prisoner releases.

Abdullah says that this is all a “good beginning,” and that all that is needed is a continuing ceasefire to move into proper negotiations. The Taliban hasn’t commented on this, but has been happy with prisoner releases.

Abdullah and President Ghani had contested the results of last year’s presidential election. The resolution, among other things, saw Abdullah being put in charge of the High Council for National Reconciliation, and given the power to drive the peace process. This is a huge responsibility. The talks were stalled because of the inconclusive election.

Now the election is resolved, prisoner releases are picking up pace, and the Eid al-Fitr ceasefire held nicely. Everything is coming into place for a serious peace process, with power-sharing between the government and Taliban to be worked out as part of the end of the war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.