Critics on Tuesday criticized President Ashraf Ghani’s approach on the formation of the negotiating team, saying that delay in this respect shows there is a lack of will on moving forward the peace process.
Back in July, the State Minister for Peace Affairs, Abdul Salam Rahimi said discussions have started on the formation of a 15-member negotiating team.
“The president of Afghanistan does not have the will for peace with the Taliban ahead of [presidential] elections to safeguard his thrown,” said MP Ali Akbar Jamshidi.
“One of Mr. Khalilzad’s points was that the Taliban came up with a powerful and experienced delegation in a short time, but this side (the Afghan government) has failed to come up with a serious step,” university lecturer Gul Rahman Qazi said.
Moreover, the US chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad, who recently wrapped up the ninth round of talks with the Taliban in Doha, criticized the Afghan government for not finalizing the negotiating team which is expected to enter into direct talks with the Taliban.
Talking to TOLOnews, Mr. Khalilzad said the United States and the Taliban have reached an agreement in principle and the document is closed but clarified that it will be finalized when it is approved by President Trump.
“What is needed is related to Afghans. Unfortunately, an inclusive and powerful delegation has not been formed by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” Mr. Khalilzad said.
The Presidential Palace said the government has finalized the negotiating team and the high council of reconciliation.
“Our delegation is ready to enter the second phase and begin the negotiations,” presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
Back in April, President Ghani’s former Special Envoy and former head of the High Peace Council’s Secretariat, Mohammad Umer Daudzai said that the newly-established Reconciliation Leadership Council will create a “unified and clear” stance on the peace process.