Peace at last? Kabul ready to talk with Taliban, without preconditions, discuss changes to Afghanistan constitution

Afghanistan is ready to negotiate peace with the Taliban without any preconditions, including drafting a new constitution, a high-ranking government official said on the heels of an Afghanistan peace conference in Moscow. Afghanistan’s government will not set out any preconditions for direct peace talks with the Taliban, Ehsan Taheri, spokesman for the country’s High Peace Council (HPC), told RIA Novosti in an interview. Previously, Kabul demanded that the insurgent movement lay down its arms and respect the constitution, but this is not the case now. “Nowadays, we – the government and the High Peace Council – declare that there are no prerequisites for the launch of the talks,” Taheri said. Established in 2010 by then-President Hamid Karzai, the HPC is a body in charge of negotiating peace with the Taliban. The long-awaited peace negotiations may start this year or next year. There is “a growing desire” among Taliban commanders to engage in the talks “without intermediaries,”…

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