Members of the contact groups of both sides of the peace negotiations met on Monday night in Doha, capital of Qatar and discussed the disputed issues, says republic delegate Nader Nadery, adding that both sides agreed to continue the discussion.
The contact teams of both sides will be reduced to 3 members each, said delegates. Previously, the Afghan republic team had 7 members and the Taliban had 5.
The contact groups are meeting in an attempt to establish procedural rules and an agenda for the talks.
Ghulam Farooq Majroh, Fatima Gailani and Rasul Talib are members of the contact group for the republic side, and Nabi Omari, Qari Din Mohammad and Latif Mansoori are contact group members on the Taliban side.
“This evening, the contact groups, each containing 3... had a meeting,” said Mohammad Naeem, Taliban spokesman in Qatar, adding that “Again, the controversial points were discussed during the session and the continuation of meetings was emphasized so a final understanding about the procedure be reached as soon as possible.”
About a week ago, the Afghan negotiating teams held a general meeting in Doha for the third time.
In statements issued from both sides, it was announced that the two teams discussed the contested procedural rules of the formal talks, and the contact groups from the two sides were assigned to agree on the contested items soon.
Sources said the meeting was aimed at finalizing disagreements about the disputed points and accelerating the peace process.
The two sides have agreed on 18 out of 20 articles for the procedural rules, but two main articles—the religious basis for the talks and connection of the US-Taliban deal with the negotiations—remain unsolved.
The Taliban insists that if a dispute emerges during the negotiations, the solution must be sought using the Hanafi jurisprudence and that the foundation for the talks should be the peace deal that the group signed with the US in late February.
But the Afghan republic's team has rejected the Taliban’s demands and has suggested some alternatives.
The peace negotiations between teams from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban started on September 12; however, so far, direct talks have not started because of disagreements on procedural rules for the negotiations.
More suggestions have been put on the table to overcome the rift between the two teams, which include the religious basis for the talks and the connection of the US-Taliban deal with the negotiations.