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Conflicting statements on finalization of procedure for peace negotiations

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KABUL: The government and Taliban still provide conflicting details about the finalization of the procedure of the intra-Afghan negotiations.

The negotiation teams of the Taliban and the government have been conferring on the agendas of the intra-Afghan negotiations since September 12 to seek ways for a sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

The Taliban representatives in Qatar, where the militants also maintain a political office, said that the procedure of the intra-Afghan negotiations was already finalized between the negotiation teams of the government and Taliban. But the Afghan government denied it, saying that the disagreements were still not solved.

Spokesman for the state ministry of peace affairs, Najia Anwari said that the sides agreed on just 21 principles.

“The delegations just agreed on 21 principles of the procedure of the negotiations except its introduction,” she added. “But as the introduction of the procedure needs clarification between the two sides, the procedure will be submitted to the general meeting and after finalization; it will be approved by the both sides.”

But the Taliban Qatar based spokesman, Mohammad Naeem said that both sides agreed on the procedure and that a copy of the procedure was submitted to the host country.

“The procedure was read in Pashto and Dari with the presence of the host and after the approval of the two sides a copy of it was handed over to the host,” Naeem said. 

Western media quoted some sources as saying that the delegation of the Taliban and government had agreed on four issues of the agreement but the signature of the agreement was delayed after President Ashraf Ghani’s opposed it.

Simultaneously, talking about the two-day conference in Geneva, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in a video clip, said,  that the US wants its international allies, especially the neighbors of Afghanistan and other countries in the region to support the country towards a peaceful future.  

The Taliban insist on its peace deal with the US to be considered as fundamental of the intra-Afghan negotiations.

The US and Taliban after more than 10 rounds of negotiations signed a preliminary peace deal on February 29th that lay out the American troops drawdown in Afghanistan and the intra-Afghan negotiations.

The talks between the government and Taliban show no progress at a time while the US forces reportedly left almost 10 small and big bases in Afghanistan after signing the agreement with the Taliban.

The US President Donald Trump said that he would pull all American soldiers out of Afghanistan by the end of 2020.

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