New setback reported over the crucial Afghanistan peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban

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New setback reported over the crucial Afghanistan peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban

KABUL - New setback reported over the crucial Afghanistan peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban.

Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Presidential Palace, on Monday said that the Taliban “must” accept a ceasefire ahead of any peace talks, adding that “without a ceasefire, there would be no peace talks.”

“Without a ceasefire, we will not reach a long-lasting peace, a peace with dignity. And a reduction of violence is not practical,” said Sediqqi.

But the Taliban have prepared a plan for the reduction of violence and “are not ready to announce any ceasefire before the peace talks with the Afghan government,” said a source close to the peace talks.

Faiz Mohammad Zaland, a university professor, said: “They (the Taliban) say that issues around a ceasefire will be at the top of the agenda of intra-Afghan negotiations.”

The government is insisting on a ceasefire but if the Taliban does not accept it, what will be the outcome?

Presumably referring to the new demand of the Afghan government, Haji Din Mohammad, the head of the Peace and Development Party, said: “A ceasefire should not be used as an excuse to challenge peace or continue the bloodshed in the country.”