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Govt.’s meddling causes postponement of Doha peace talks

“A national delegation will travel to Doha to lead talks with Taliban”

AT News Report

KABUL: The intra-Afghan meeting expected to be held on Sunday in the Qatari capital, Doha has been postponed for five days, according to sources in the government as well as reports.

The meeting is said to be held on April 14 that would conclude on April 21.

Separately, the list of members of the reconciliation council is to be finalized next week. A seven-man commission was appointed on Wednesday to prepare the list of the reconciliation council and a small leadership council.

The commission members said that they would also finalize next week the list of people who are planned to represent the government in the intra-Afghan meeting that is a follow up of the February meeting with the same title in Moscow.

Meanwhile, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hezb-e-Islami refused to attend the meeting of reconciliation council.

For the first time, a government team is supposed to attend a meeting that also hosts Taliban representatives. Taliban have not yet accepted sitting with the Ghani administration delegation. The government’s delegation is scheduled to fly to Doha before the Qatar meeting.

Mohammad Mohaqiq, Deputy Chief Executive of the country, who has been part of the Leadership Council for Reconciliation, said the Doha talks were delayed for another three or four days after the leadership council failed to agree on the list of the participants.

“The delay is because of the discussions to prepare a list of the influential figures of the country, who should be able to represent various parts of the country” he said, adding “such discussions and decisions are difficult and need time to be taken.”

He said the decision to delay the Doha meeting was already coordinated with the Taliban.

Muhaqiq provided the information after the leadership council for reconciliation today (Wednesday) held the 2nd meeting to discuss the selection of the delegation, who will take part in talks with the Taliban.

Muhaqiq said “a national delegation will travel to Doha, who will be comprised of the political leaders and members of the government.”

The next meeting of the Reconciliation Leadership council will be held on Saturday in which they are expected to finalize the list of the participants.

Although Afghan officials say the travelling delegation to Qatar will also represent the government but Taliban said all participants in the meeting will be attending the conference in their personal capacity and no one will be representing Afghan government.

If happens this would be the first meeting in which representatives of the Afghan government and Taliban meet each other, after the 2015 peace talks in Pakistan between the two sides which were soon disrupted after the news about the death of Taliban leader was leaked.

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