The High Council for National Reconciliation expects the Taliban to get ready for intra-Afghan negotiations that have faced multiple delays and are expected to begin this week, according to an official of the council.
The Afghan government has said that all required arrangements have been taken for the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations, but sources have said the process is facing delays as the Taliban’s negotiating team is not ready so far.
“The Taliban isn’t ready to start the intra-Afghan negotiations. We expect that the Taliban get ready for an agreement,” said Fraidoon Khawzon, a spokesman for the council.
“The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has taken all necessary measures for the start of the talks with the Taliban. There isn't any type of obstacle from our side,” said Najia Anwari, spokesperson for State Ministry for Peace Affairs.
Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman in a note to TOLOnews on Friday said that the deputy leader of the group, Mullah Baradar, and other key members of Taliban’s negotiating team have returned to Doha from Pakistan trip and that efforts are underway to finalize the date for the start of the talks.
Meanwhile, ordinary Afghans called for swift start of the talks, saying that major obstacles have been removed from the way of the negotiations and that the waring sides should avoid making excuses.
“The talks should start as soon as possible,” said Mohammad, a Kabul resident.
“They should get ready for the talks. There are no more excuses to delay the negotiations,” said Zalmay, a Kabul resident.
Initially, the start of the talks was linked to the completion of prisoners swap, but the process has been completed.
“Now the discussion is focused on the date for the start of the talks. There is no big hurdle,” said Tahir Khan, a freelance journalist.