National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib said on Tuesday that the current negotiations which are underway in Doha are taking place between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, stating that there are no foreign mediators in the room, nor are any wanted.
Mohib said that Kabul did not want the terms of the US-Taliban peace deal to be imposed on the Afghan people.
Mohib added that Kabul was not involved in the US peace agreement with the Taliban and would like to see a new process at work in the negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban.
According to delegates, the Taliban is insisting that the current talks fall within the framework and conditions of the February US-Taliban agreement.
"We do not see (the US-Taliban Agreement) as important at this point, because we were not included in that agreement. And we don't want the conditions in that agreement to be imposed on the Afghan people, because we were not part of that process," said Mohib.
“The talks are direct negotiations between the team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban; we do not have any mediator in these talks, these talks are among Afghans to resolve the Afghan conflict,” said Mohib.
Referring to a series of tweets by the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, Mohib said that Khalilzad has also mentioned that the current process in Doha is about direct talks between Afghans.
“The process (for the current talks) is between the two teams, any agreement that we reach among ourselves must be an Afghan-led process, therefore we cannot add an element which is not part of our negotiations,” said Mohib, rejecting calls for an outsider mediator to be brought in.
In a question about the two disputed points about procedural rules currently holding up the Afghan peace negotiations, Mohib said: “In these talks, the issue (disputed points) will be addressed in the direct talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government (republic’s team) team, there is no American involvement in it, this means they (Americans) are not present in the room, these talks are direct negotiations,” he said.
Mohib said that President Ashraf Ghani's meetings in Doha focused on the status of the peace talks, US support for the Afghan people, and the gains made that should be protected.
Meanwhile, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Twitter said that the US is in support of an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process.
“The United States supports an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process and remains ready to assist. We call on all nations, especially the neighbors and other key players, to do the same,” Tweeted Khalilzad.
“I told the President Afghans should not let the opportunity for peace to slip away. He said he supports the Islamic Republic negotiators doing their work as long as it takes. I said I’m encouraged by what I heard from all sides, including the two teams’ commitment to peace,” Khalilzad said, referring to his meeting with Ghani in Doha.
The opening ceremony for the negotiations was held on September 12, but the two sides of the talks have not yet started their direct negotiations. However, they have held seven meetings between their contact groups to discuss procedural rules for the talks.
The two sides have yet to agree on two matters: the religious basis for the talks and the relevance of the US-Taliban deal with the negotiations.
Talks between the contact groups of the two sides had stopped for four days before resuming on Sunday.
The Taliban demand recognition of the US-Taliban agreement as the 'mother deal' underlying the Afghan peace negotiations, and Hanafi Figh as the sole religious legal guidelines for the talks.
Reports say that the republic's team has suggested alternatives to the Taliban’s demands.