Negotiators in Doha Struggle to Agree on Disputed Points

Negotiators in Doha Struggle to Agree on Disputed Points

A joint meeting between the negotiating teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban is expected on Saturday evening in Doha to resolve disputed points regarding rules and regulations of the peace talks, according to sources from the two teams. 

The two sides have a disagreement on four key issues, one of them the term used for “war,” according to TOLOnews reporter Karim Amini who closely follows the talks in Doha. 

Other disputed matters between the two sides are religious issues and human rights, Amini said. 

The opening ceremony of the intra-Afghan negotiations was held in Doha a week ago. So far, the negotiating teams have held three meetings while they have held five meetings under small-group set up called “contact groups” to discuss the agenda and the rules and regulations of the talks.    

Violence remains high in the country amidst efforts to move the peace negotiations forward. Three explosions happened in Balkh and Paktika on Saturday. At least three people were killed in the blasts. Meanwhile, the deputy head of Paktia Provincial Council was killed in an attack by unknown armed men on Saturday morning, according to local officials.  

Also, clashes were reported in Kunduz province in northern parts of the country between government forces and the Taliban on Friday night. 

President Ashraf Ghani in a statement on one of the attacks called on the Taliban to agree on a humanitarian and nationwide ceasefire that is the demand of the Afghan people, the Afghan government and the international community. 

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem last week said the group will not agree on a ceasefire unless the peace negotiators can discuss the main cause of the war in the country at the peace negotiating table. 

 Naeem said the Taliban has reduced the level of violence with the start of the preliminary round of the talks.