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Qatar may mediate Afghanistan peace talks

AT News

KABUL: Amid stagnation in Afghanistan’s peace talks, delegations of the Afghan government and the Taliban have purportedly agreed to allow Qatar’s government to mediate the talks aimed at reaching a negotiated political settlement to end the fighting in the war-ridden country.

A well-informed source in Qatar has said, in condition of anonymity, the Afghan government’s negotiating team and the Taliban had agreed on a facilitating role for Qatar to advance the peace talks.

But the source did not specify whether Qatari officials could attend direct meetings of the Afghan government and Taliban or whether they would talk to the two sides separately. It has previously been said that no one will be allowed to attend the talks during the Afghan-Afghan talks.

The decision comes after more than 40 days have passed since the talks began in Qatar, but the two sides have not yet agreed on a formal negotiated solution.

Meanwhile, the former head of the High Peace Council, Abdul Hakim Mujahid, has said that there was a serious need for a facilitator to break the deadlock.

“It turns out that the talks have come to a complete standstill and no progress has been made. There was a serious need for a facilitator to get out of this situation. I think Qatar can play a better role,” he said.

Qatar is the host of the talks and an Islamic country and has already played an important role in the agreement between the United States and the Taliban, he enumerated.

This comes after a meeting between Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan, and Commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, and the Taliban leader Mullah Baradar.

“The meeting focused on the U.S.-Taliban agreement, the release of all Taliban inmates from Afghanistan prisoners and termination of blacklists”, said the Taliban’s spokesman Mohammad Naeem Wardak.

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