There has been no contact between President Ghani's team at the Presidential Palace (ARG) and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah's team at the Sapidar Palace, on the formation of a negotiating team, which should happen by March 10 in order to begin the intra-Afghan negotiations.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s spokesman Muijb Rahman Rahimi said efforts to form a negotiating team will be expedited once US chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad visits Kabul.
“Contact has not been made so far. As you said, Mr. Khalilzad will visit Kabul today (Tuesday) and efforts for unifying the delegation and the list will begin and for finding ways out of the electoral crisis,” Rahimi said.
According to presidential spokesman Latif Mahmoud, a list has been prepared for the negotiating team.
“The delegation will represent the values of the republic and the constitution,” Mahmoud said. “The authorities of the delegation will be limited, but it will be effective… The final decisions will be made by the people of Afghanistan.”
On Monday, the Chief Executive’s Office said in a statement that Abdullah and politicians close to him have finalized their list of delegates for the intra-Afghan talks.
Abdullah on Monday met with former mujahideen leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf and former president Hamid Karzai.
On Tuesday, Abdullah met with former president Hamid Karzai and Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar at Karzai’s residence, according to a statement by Hekmatyar’s office. Their discussion was about peace and elections, the statement said.
Former NDS chief Rahmatullah Nabil, meanwhile, suggested that Afghanistan’s leaders should learn from their “past mistakes.”
In an interview with the Associated Press, Nabil said that it is very important for Afghan leaders, especially those who have been involved over the past 40 years, to learn from their past mistakes and should "consider the past as a national treasury," but a "poisoned one." He said the mistakes of the past should not be repeated.
President Ghani at a press conference in Kabul on Sunday suggested the team should be limited to eight to 10 members and said the delegates were chosen after consultation with politicians and other stakeholders.
The Afghan government has already sent a six-member team to Doha “for building contacts with the Taliban,” according to the Presidential Palace.
But a Taliban spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, said the Taliban delegation has not met with the govt delegation in Qatar, but authorities responsible for the prisoners on both sides could meet to discuss the release of the 6,000 prisoners before the intra-Afghan talks.