A peace negotiator in Doha, Fawzia Koofi, said on Sunday that they remain hopeful that the disputed points on procedural rules of the talks are removed within the next few days to resume the meetings between delegates from both sides of the negotiations.
The peace negotiations were inaugurated in September with the hope to end the four decades of war in the country. Negotiating teams representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban held more than 10 meetings in small set up called contact groups to discuss procedural rules for the talks. The two sides have agreed on almost all articles of the ground rules for negotiations except two: religious basis for the talks and the connection of the US-Taliban deal with the talks in Doha.
Sources familiar with the process said the host of the talks, Qatar, and other countries supporting the Afghan peace process have expedited their efforts to remove the hurdles in the way of the direct negotiations between both sides.
“The draft is exchanged between the two sides. Some words are added. Some words are changed. We hope to solve this issue within the next few days,” Koofi said.
Sources said that Qatar’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Mutlaq al Qahtani, has held talks with negotiating teams of both sides in the last few days and has exchanged their views with both teams.
Meanwhile, a Qatari lawmaker Hind al-Muftah al-Tamim said the peace negotiations are going in the right direction.
But according to critics, the Taliban so far has not shown flexibility in their stance about the US-Taliban deal as a basis for the negotiations.
“Recommendations are made by our side and by their side. The prolongation of the process is due to the fact that we are discussing the recommendations they make, and they discuss recommendations we make so that we can reach an agreement. We hope to achieve a result,” said Mohammad Naeem, spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha.