UN welcomes talks between Afghan government and Taliban

United Nations, July 9 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed direct talks held between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives in Pakistan.

The first-ever formal talks for peace between the Afghan government delegation and representatives of the Taliban were held in Pakistan capital Islamabad on late Tuesday.

Ban on Wednesday reiterated his support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

He also expressed his appreciation for the commitment of the parties and the constructive role of the host, Pakistan, Xinhua reported, citing a statement released by Ban’s spokesperson.

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said that the preliminary peace talks would include three major parts — changing the initial peace talks process to a continued course, trust building and preparing a list of the most important demands in the agenda for peace talks.

“The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan while welcoming beginning the formal talks as the first step towards achieving peace is hopeful that the process could facilitate the way for achieving lasting and honourable peace in the country,” said a Afghan foreign ministry statement.

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