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5 countries step in to break deadlock in Afghan peace talks

AT News

KABUL: Five countries, including Qatar, are mediating to break the deadlock in the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, according to a source within the High Council for National Reconciliation, after weeks of stalemate that broke out in the wake of unresolved disagreements between the two negotiating sides.

The source, wishing to remain anonymous, said meetings and discussions between the Afghan government and Taliban contact groups have been suspended. He stated that Qatar, Germany, Norway, Indonesia and Uzbekistan have been mediating to resume the stalled talks.

This is as Mohammad Naeem Wardak, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political bureau in Qatar, has said ‘there would be no mediator in the talks’.

Wardak said that only Qatar can help by injecting ideas and advices, in addition to providing facilities in the talks.

However, a member of the Afghan government’s negotiating team, Habiba Sarabi, said the peace talks between the two sides have not stopped.

Najiah Anwari, spokeswoman for the State Ministry for Peace, also confirmed that meetings had been held between members of the leadership and contact groups of the both sides. He said several members of Afghanistan’s delegation had returned to Kabul for administrative affairs and that talks had not been suspended.

“In their absence, meetings in leadership levels have continued without pause, so have the meetings between contact groups,” he said, acknowledging no progress has been made.

Talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban stalled after two disagreements arose over the construction of an intra-Afghan dialogue.

The Taliban insist that problems during the talks be resolved in accordance with Hanafi jurisprudence, and second, that the talks should be based on an agreement reached between the United States and the Taliban in Doha in February. But the Afghan government has rejected the demands and presented an alternative plan to advance the parley.

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