Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation on Thursday said he was confident that the much awaited intra-Afghan talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban will begin next week.

During an event in Kabul, Abdullah said that the Afghan government’s negotiating team is fully prepared to participate in the discussions, TOLO News reported.

Abdullah further said, “I can say with relative confidence that intra-Afghan talks will begin next week. The list of people from the Political Committee of the High Council for National Reconciliation has been finalized and will be announced”.

According to a survey, the Institute for War and Peace Studies found that more than 86 per cent of the country’s population are satisfied with the current peace process.

In March this year, Abdullah had met with former Mujahideen leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf and former president Hamid Karzai where they discussed the recently signed US-Taliban peace agreement and ways to implement it

Last month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani spoke with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo via video conference and discussed the Afghan peace process.

The US-Taliban deal signed in Qatar on February 29 calls for the release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners to open the way for intra-Afghan negotiations.

More than 10,000 civilians were killed or wounded in Afghanistan’s war last year, the United Nations had announced earlier as a historic partial truce kicked in across the country. India did not recognise Afghanistan diplomatically when Taliban was ruling the country from 1996 to 2002.