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2nd Phase of Peace Talks to Resume “Today”

AT News

KABUL: After nearly one-month of break, the Afghan and Taliban negotiators are set to resume peace talks in Doha, the capital city of Qatar today (Saturday), said a member of the government negotiating team. The resumption comes with increased violence, including the targeted killing of Afghan journalists and civil society workers.  

Ghula Faroq Majroh, Kabul peace negotiator said that the contact teams of both sides held a meeting last week. “It was decided to hold talks on the agreed agendas on Saturday,” he added.

Last week, the government delegation left Kabul for Qatar to restart the negotiation with the insurgent group.    

Habiba Surabi, a member of the government negotiating team said that the second round of the negotiation would face some “hurdles and difficulties”.

First Vice President, Amrullah Saleh blamed the Taliban for delaying the process, saying that the group is not willing to accept the present reality of the Afghan nation.

Talking to a gathering in eastern Nangarhar province, Saleh said that the Taliban stressed on its agreement which the group signed with the U.S. on February 29th 2020. “It means, the main issue is power not religion,” he said. “This is not Jihad, nor Shariah, neither Sunnah.”

The government delegation would ask the insurgent negotiating team to define the Islamic System, Saleh added.

This comes as some influential figures and leaders of the political parties vowed for formation of an interim government to reach a peace deal with the Taliban.

But a spokesman for the Taliban Qatar-Based Office, Mohammad Naeem said that the formation of the interim government has not been discussed in the intra-Afghan negotiations.

Earlier, a member of the government negotiating team, Hafiz Mansoor said that the Taliban stressed on formation of the interim government and that the militants are not willing to forge a peace deal with the incumbent government.

To gain progress on the Afghan peace, the US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad has recently traveled to regional countries.  He met the Afghan officials and politicians after visiting Qatar and Pakistan.

The resumption in talks comes when the US troops in Afghanistan blamed the US for targeted killings.  

 “The Taliban’s campaign of unclaimed attacks and targeted killings of government officials, civil society leaders and journalists must … cease for peace to succeed,” Col. Sonny Leggett, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan said.

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