The Afghan government and the Taliban representatives have agreed to hold fire during the holy occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.

They agreed “in principle” to a ceasefire during the inaugural session of talks that began in Qatar capital Doha on Saturday morning.

According to sources, modalities of the ceasefire would be worked out in the second session.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Sheikh Malwi Abdul Hakim have been representing the Taliban while the government delegation comprised former president Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abullah and Masoon Stenakzai.

News agency AFP reported that several high-ranking officials gathered in a luxury hotel on Saturday after morning prayers. They were joined by negotiators from the Taliban’s political office in Doha.

“The high level delegation is here to talk to both sides, guide them and support the (government) negotiating team in terms of speeding up the talks and have progress,” said Najia Anwari, the spokeswoman for the Afghan government negotiating team in Doha.

“We expect that it (will) speed the talks and… in a short time, both sides will reach a result and we will witness a durable and dignified peace in Afghanistan,” she told AFP.

“We are ready for dialogue, for talks and negotiations, and our priority is to solve the problems through dialogue,” Taliban spokesman Muhamad Naeem told the Al Jazeera broadcaster ahead of Saturday’s talks.

“The other side must have a true and sincere will to end the problems.”


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