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Monday, October 18, 2021

Afghanistan’s president lands in Qatar amid peace talks stalemate

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Qatari officials met Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani in Doha on Monday.

Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani arrived in Doha on Monday, where peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have stalled.

Ghani was welcomed by Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi and Afghanistan’s ambassador to Doha, Abdul Hakim Dalili.

He is also expected to meet Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in the Qatari capital to discuss bilateral relations and issues of common concern. 

However, the Afghan president will not be meeting with Taliban leaders, according to his spokesman, Dawa Khan Meenapal.

“The President would only meet peace delegates representing the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” the official told Anadolu.

Read also: ‘Historic’ Afghanistan peace talks commence in Doha

Ghani’s visit comes as Afghan Peace Talks hosted in Doha since September 12 remain at a stalemate with a number of issues, including details of a ceasefire and the type of governance that will shape Afghanistan, yet to be finalised.

On Thursday, the US special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad also landed in Doha to meet with the Taliban.

Despite the hiccups, last month saw the signing of what was described as ‘historic’ peace talks between the warring factions.

The negotiations in Qatar addressed a number of issues, including disarming Taliban fighters and militias, maintaining a permanent ceasefire, and constitutional changes. 

“After decades of conflict, these talks are the best chance of peace. We have to embrace them wholeheartedly and keep in mind the ultimate goal: to end the violence,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the start of the talks in September.

The talks followed a United States-Taliban agreement signed in February in Doha.

Among the attendees were US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Abdullah Abdullah, chairperson of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, and Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.


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