The working groups of the negotiating teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban held meetings on the agenda of the peace negotiations in Doha for the third day in a row after a breakthrough was made with an agreement on procedural rules.
Sources familiar with the process said the Taliban has prepared a 22-article proposal to be included in the agenda of the talks, but, according to the sources, the Afghan government has said a ceasefire is the most important demand that the Republic team wants to add to the agenda.
Sources said the Taliban has not included the release of their prisoners to be discussed in the talks as they think that they will solve it with the Americans.
US Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson in a chat with reporters on Sunday said that the Taliban is expecting the release of thousands of their prisoners under their agreement with the United States by mid-December.
“The Taliban expect under the terms of that agreement that there would be progress on releasing those prisoners by roughly mid-December. I have forgotten the exact date. I think it's our view,” he said.
The Afghan government has not commented on the possible release of 7,000 Taliban prisoners, but it confirmed that the ceasefire is the most important demand of the negotiating team of the Afghan Republic and it will be added to the peace talks agenda.
“The key issue in the agenda for the people of Afghanistan is a ceasefire,” presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
Analysts said that flexibility is needed from both sides to make progress towards achieving a political settlement to the conflict.
“The two sides will have complicated discussions on the composition of power for the next government in Afghanistan,” said Abdul Karim Khurram, head of the office of former president Hamid Karzai.
Sources familiar with the meetings of the negotiators said that the two sides have not made tangible progress in their meetings over the last three days but added that they are holding consultations within their teams to add their demands to the agenda.