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Latest Doha talks fail to clinch deal on ground rules

AT News

KABUL: Delegates of the Afghan government and the Taliban negotiating a political settlement to end Afghanistan’s war have again failed to clinch a deal after the stalled talks restarted in Qatar.

Both sides acknowledge that the agreement was only to continue talks to resolve differences and the delegates met on Monday again. But despite efforts, there has been no official agreement.

The delegates discussed the differences again during their meeting, said Najiya Anwari, spokeswoman for the State Ministry for Peace, currently in Doha.

“Several members of the contact groups met on Monday evening and the discussions are expected to continue on the disputes between the two sides,” she said.

Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political bureau, confirmed the meetings and said both sides negotiated the differences and emphasized on continuation of the meetings in order to reach a final understanding on the procedures of peace talks at the earliest.

Meeting of government delegations and the Taliban coincides with the intensification of war in Afghanistan.

This is as Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, has continued his trips to gain regional consensus and support for Afghanistan peace process.

On Sunday and Monday this week, Iranian leaders and officials met with Mr. Abdullah to reaffirm their support for a lasting and acceptable peace in Afghanistan. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a meeting with Abdullah Abdullah on Monday that he expects Afghanistan’s peace efforts to bear fruit.

In a separate meeting with Ali Shamakhani, advisor to the National Security Council of Iran, Abdullah Abdullah said that peace in Afghanistan is in the interest of the entire region and the world. Shamakhani also said that Iran supports lasting peace while preserving Afghanistan’s interests and achievements.

Abdullah Abdullah’s third visit to Iran, after Pakistan and India, came as violence in Afghanistan continued unabated and various provinces, especially Helmand and Badakhshan, witnessed heavy attacks and clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban rebels.

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