A general meeting of chiefs and delegates from both the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as well as the Taliban was held on Wednesday evening, said Nader Nadery, a delegate from the repbulic's side.
In the meeting, the issue of resolving the disputed issues was discussed and it was emphasized that the contact groups from both sides should provide solutions to the disputed issues as soon as possible, said Nadery.
Taliban spokesperson Mohammad Naeem in Doha confirmed a general session was held tonight with both teams. He said contested points were discussed and contact groups were instructed to resolve the dispute as soon as possible. The agenda will be discussed next, he said.
It was reported earlier that the negotiating team representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan had made new suggestions to break the current deadlock, sources within the republic’s team said on Wednesday.
After two weeks of stopped talks, the contact groups from both sides of the Afghan negotiations resumed their meetings on Monday to seek an agreement on procedural rules intended for the formal talks. However, the recent meeting also ended without an outcome.
According to sources, one of the suggestions is to remove the discussion about the controversial procedural rules and discuss them in the next phase of the talks.
“We need to accelerate the negotiation process in view of the plight of the Afghan people, every day the people are sacrificed,” said Fawzia Koofi, a member of the republic’s negotiating team.
One of the suggestions, sources from Qatar said, is adding the US Security Council Resolution to the talks along with the US-Taliban deal to be part of the framework of the negotiations. The resolution does not recognize the Islamic emirate of the Taliban and has mentioned the republic as the government in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has not said anything about the alternatives and the UN Security Council’s resolution. However, the Taliban insists that without considering the US-Taliban peace deal as the main agreement, the intra-Afghan talks will not have meaning.
“If there is no foundation, moving forward without it will not make sense,” said Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban.
The two sides have agreed on 18 out of 20 articles for the procedural rules, but two main articles—the religious basis for the talks and connection of the US-Taliban deal with the negotiations—remain unsolved. The Taliban insists that if a dispute emerges during the negotiations, the solution must be sought using the Hanafi jurisprudence and that the foundation for the talks should be the peace deal that the group signed with the US in late February.
But the Afghan republic's team has rejected the Taliban’s demands and has suggested some alternatives.
The peace negotiations between negotiating teams from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban started on September 12; however, so far, direct talks have not started because of disagreements on procedural rules for the negotiations.
More suggestions have been put on the table to overcome the rift between the two teams, which include the religious basis for the talks and the connection of the US-Taliban deal with the negotiations.
The Doha talks officially commenced one month ago on September 12 with the hope of ending of decades of war in the country. So far, the contact groups of the two sides—set up to discuss procedural rules—have held eight meetings.