The names of chosen attendees for the upcoming peace meeting in Beijing will not be shared with the public before the date of the meeting has been announced, Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for President Ghani, said on Monday.
Sediqqi said that the list of participants for the China meeting has been finalized after consultations with various political parties, and he added that the people chose will broadly represent Afghan interests.
“We believe it’s too early to share the list with the public…we tried to make a list that would represent everyone,” Sediqqi said.
At this point, the number of attendees on the list is between 15 and 20, according to sources at the Presidential Palace.
However, some close to former Afghan President, Hamid Karzai have criticized the government-prepared list, particularly recent changes.
“The list that was prepared on November 1 was a good list, and it was shared with the Chinese, and, as far I know, the Taliban agreed (to attend),” Shahzada Massoud, a political analyst said, adding “But later changes have been brought in, which, at the very least, has delayed the meeting.”
Media sources claimed that President Ghani had sent a delegation to Qatar to meet with the Taliban, but the National Security Council has denied the report.
“No delegation from the National Security Council has been sent to any country to negotiate with the Taliban on any issue. We have always been open and clear in any step taken towards the peace and the dialogue,” Kabir Haqmal, a spokesman for National Security Adviser said.
Sources at the Presidential Palace say that the current date for the China meeting is November 21, but they add that neither Kabul nor Beijing has yet finalized the date.
A meeting was originally scheduled for October 29 and 30 in Beijing, but the Afghan government asked China to delay the meeting for unknown reasons.
The Taliban announced that they were invited by the Chinese government and that a delegation from the group, led by the Taliban’s senior leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, will attend the meeting.