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'US-Taliban deal can't be basis for all topics in Afghan peace talks'

Abdullah Abdullah

Kabul,Nov 17 (UITV/IANS)- Abdullah Abdullah, head of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, said that the February 29 US-Taliban agreement cannot be the basis for all topics of discussions during the peace negotiations in Qatar.

The negotiations in Doha have been paused for the last many weeks over disputed points on the ground rules, reports TOLO News.

The disputed points include the religious basis for the talks and the connection of the US-Taliban agreement with the process.

Speaking to TOLO News, Abdullah said the country will face a war for years if the Taliban refuses to quit violence.

"Afghanistan has not ignored the (US-Taliban) agreement, but it cannot be the basis for all our discussions. The Afghan community wants a peace that represents views all the people of Afghanistan," Abdullah said.

Regarding reports that US President Donald Trump is pushing for an early troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, Abdullah told TOLO News: "We'll see if the decision is made by January or earlier, but it's a decision that will be made by the US.

"If the Taliban decides to continue the war and does not show any flexibility in the negotiations, it will mean the continuation of the war for many years."

Abdullah said that countries in the region want peace in Afghanistan, referring to his recent visits to Pakistan, Iran and Uzbekistan.

"We have had a different past in our relations with these countries. They assured that they will not act like the past, will not have a preference in Afghanistan, and will accept the peace that is acceptable for Afghans," he added.