A high-ranking delegation from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan led by Chairman Abdullah Abdullah and a Taliban delegation led by deputy leader of the group Abdul Ghani Baradar started negotiations on peace with the hope to agree on key issues that will lead to political settlement and end of violence in the country.
The meeting is hosted by Qatar where the republic and Taliban negotiators have continued their talks for the last 10 months, but their meetings have not had tangible progress so far.
Former vice president Mohammad Karim Khalili, Ata Mohammad Noor, Batur Dostum Salam Rahimi, and Sayed Saadat Mansoor Naderi are part of the Afghan republic’s delegation.
Addressing the opening ceremony of peace talks in Doha, Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said Afghans are passing through difficult days, heavy clashes are underway and the main victims are the people.
Abdullah says that comprehensive meetings were held between Afghan politicians and the government leaders ahead of the Doha meeting and all had one message: Afghanistan’s problem has no military solution.
He said that all efforts should be focused on ending the war and achieving a political settlement.
To achieve peace, there is a need for flexibility from both sides, Abdullah said.
“We believe that the regional and international environment has been provided… Afghans want the continuation of the world’s support to the peace process,” he said.
Addressing the event, the Taliban’s deputy leader Abdul Ghani Baradar said that despite the lack of progress in intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha, there is a need to keep the hope. He added that they will make efforts to make the talks a success.
Baradar said that to ensure Afghanistan’s prosperity, there is a need for a central and independent Islamic system and to achieve this, “we should ignore our personal interests.”
Reiterating on unity among Afghans, Baradar said Afghanistan is a common home for all Afghans and that “we should ignore details if we want to achieve bigger goals.”
“We should end lack of trust and should make efforts for the nation’s unity,” Baradar added.
The meeting comes at a time heavy clashes are underway between government forces and Taliban in various parts of the country for the last two months.