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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

‘Progress’ made at Afghan meetings in Qatar: reports

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is expected to propose a three-phase roadmap for the ongoing peace process at the upcoming Istanbul meeting.

Afghan negotiators have witnessed progress during negotiations held in Qatar over the past few days, Afghanistan’s TOLOnews reported on Monday, signalling positive steps ahead of a planned Istanbul meeting.

The report said agreements were made on the proposed agenda for the upcoming conference between members of the Afghan government, the Taliban, United Nations, United States, as well as Qatari officials at the Doha talks, the report stated.

“Preparations are being made on the context of discussions, principles and values that would be discussed in Turkey as well as coordination among countries and organisations,” Afghan negotiator Fawzia Koofi said, as quoted by TOLOnews.

While the list of attendees for the conference have yet to be finalised, the High Council for National Reconciliation [HCNR] confirmed the government of Afghanistan will be represented by a 12 to 15-member delegation.

“The formation of the delegation is expected to be limited to 12 to 15 members, considering the big decisions that will be made, however, so far, no decision has been made on a bigger number,” an adviser to the council, Mujib Rahman Rahimi, said.

Read also: Afghanistan’s Ghani to propose three-phase ‘peace roadmap’

The HCNR said it expects the Turkey meeting to help push for a ceasefire in Afghanistan, however, former Taliban member, Abdul Salam Zaeef downplayed the conference as a mere event should the warring factions fail to come out with an agreement.

“It will be good to have some results from the Doha talks, but if the talks have no outcome, the Turkey summit will be an ordinary meeting,” Zaeef said.

Reports of discussions in Doha have been mentioned in recent weeks, though President Ghani’s national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, appeared to show little optimism.

“The Taliban had nothing to discuss [in Doha], and they only insulted [Afghan officials] to show that they have not changed, and that they only want power,” Mohib told a press conference on Saturday.

The date of the Istanbul conference has ye to be confirmed, however it is expected to be held in two weeks.

President Ghani is set to propose a three-phase roadmap for the ongoing peace process at the Istanbul meeting, including a presidential election and the establishment of a “government of peace”.

This comes following a clear rejection from Ghani of a previous US proposal to form an interim government.


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