In Doha, Afghan delegates, Taliban agree to reduce ‘civilian casualties to zero’

Peace talks between Afghan delegates and Taliban in Doha have ended with both sides calling to reduce casualties to “zero” amid the rising death toll in the war-torn country.

The so-called intra-Afghan dialogue, sponsored by Qatar and Germany, between Afghan politicians, civil society members, including women, and the Taliban is seen as a substantive step towards peace in Afghanistan.

“… Committed to respect and protect the dignity of people, their life and property and to minimise the civilian casualties to zero,” a joint statement released at the end of the talks in Doha said late on Monday.

“We have all agreed to the fact that the civilians should not be affected, war continues, but our aim is to reduce civilian casualties to zero,” said Qari Din Mohammad Hanif, member of the Taliban Delegation.

The statement also pledged to guarantee the security of public institutions.

“Ensuring the security of public institutions, such as schools, religious madrassas, hospitals, markets, water dams and other working locations,” the statement said.

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