Sources close to Taliban officials confirmed that a comprehensive delegation from Taliban’s leadership team held discussions for the second day on Tuesday, with representatives from US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Abu Dhabi.
The discussions kicked off on Sunday in which the attendees discussed Afghanistan war and peace.
Analysts said one of the differences of this meeting to others, is that in addition to Taliban’s representatives from Qatar’s political office, members of the leadership team of the group are also in attendance.
According to sources close to Taliban officials, members of the leadership team of Taliban including Abbas Satnekzai, head of Taliban’s Qatar office; Salam Hanifi, Deputy Minister of Education; Din Mohammad Hanif, Planning Minister; Khairullah Khairkhaw, Minister of Interior; Mohammad Fazl, Army Chief of the Taliban and Deputy Defense Minister during Taliban regime; and Mawlawi Ahmaddullah, acting chief of Taliban Council in Kabul.
“Americans try to create a ceasefire to free the two American university lecturers held captive by Taliban and want Taliban to talk face to face with the Afghan government. Taliban want their names off the blacklist, their prisoners freed and the foreign forces withdrawn from Afghanistan,” Nazar Mohammad Mutmaen, a political activist said.
Afghan government meanwhile confirmed that in addition to Taliban’s representatives from Qatar Office, a comprehensive delegation from this group went to UAE – the government however did not name the delegation members.
The Presidential Palace said government’s negotiating team is in Abu Dhabi to hold proximity talks with Taliban representatives.
Taliban however has said they will not meet with the Afghan negotiating team.
“Our report shows that a comprehensive delegation from Taliban went to Abu Dhabi. We hope that direct talks, which is one of the oldest demands of Afghan government, get started with Taliban,” Omid Maisam, deputy spokesman of Chief Executive Officer said.
In the meantime, Reuters quoting Taliban officials, reported that on the second day of talks in UAE, the US delegation asked Taliban to announce a six months' ceasefire. A Taliban official told Reuters that if Saudi Arabia, UAE and Pakistan guarantee that the US will establish an interim government in Afghanistan, and will appoint a Taliban favorite leader for the government, they will consider a ceasefire.
Taliban also said they held talks with UAE, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan representatives on Monday on the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and Afghanistan’s security and reconstruction.
Taliban said at the end of the day on Monday, they met US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador, Zamay Khalilzad too.