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Afghan talks resume after mediation

A advisory group is set to consult with delegations on rights of war victims

AT News

KABUL: Afghanistan’s government and Taliban rebels resumed face-to-face talks on Monday night to hammer out a deal on the ground rules for peace talks after mediation efforts by several countries.

Contact groups met on Monday night in an attempt to resume stalled discussion of the key issues of contention, agreeing to continue meeting to resolve the disagreements.

The two negotiating teams have not had any formal meetings in the past two weeks.

A member of Afghan delegation, Mohammad Rasool Talib, said a mechanism proposed by the United States, Qatar and some other countries helped resume the talks to resolve disputes and speed up the negotiations, he said.

Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political bureau in Qatar, also confirmed the meeting. He said the meetings were scheduled to continue to resolve the disputes that arose along the way.

The Independent Human Rights Commission announced that a ‘Human Rights Advisory Group for War Victims’ has been set up to consult with government and Taliban negotiating delegations on ensuring the rights of war victims and addressing their demands during peace talks.

Afghan officials said talks in Doha had stalled due to the ‘Taliban’s unwarranted insistence on their demands’. About a month after the talks began in Doha, delegations have not been able to agree on a negotiating roadmap. It has already been said that the Taliban insist that only Hanafi jurisprudence and the Taliban-US agreement be the basis for resolving disputes in this process, but the government also insists on considering Jafari jurisprudence and a joint US-Afghanistan declaration.

It was later reported that the Afghan delegation had suggested alternatives, but the Taliban continued to resist.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, accused the Afghan government of disrupting the peace process, saying the government was interested in continuing the war, not peace.

About ten days ago, US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad traveled to Doha following a continuing dispute between the Taliban and the Afghan government and the issue not being resolved. He met with both sides during his trip. But he is said to have tried to mediate to resolve the dispute between the two sides.

Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation led by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah also expressed hope that Khalilzad would be able to unlock the stalemate in the negotiations.

A few days ago, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani traveled to Doha with a high-level delegation and met with Khalilzad and discussed reducing violence “because it would lead to greater trust, greater peace support and faster negotiations,” said Khalilzad in a tweet.

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