The working committees from the peace negotiating teams of the Islamic Republic and the Taliban on Saturday held their first meeting to discuss issues around the agenda of the potential formal peace negotiations.
The Afghan Republic and the Taliban's negotiating teams said in statements that their next meeting will be held on Sunday.
The meeting comes after prolonged delay in the start of the negotiations over differences in procedural rules for the talks.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in reference to the ongoing violence in Afghanistan has said that the current scale of violence at a time that peace negotiations are underway is not acceptable for Washington.
“I made clear to them that the violence levels can't continue while these negotiations go on. It won't work. And so, we've asked all of them to stand back and indeed stand down. In that respect, I hope we can begin to start to address some of the front-end issues about a cease-fire here before too long,” Pompeo said.
Alongside the US, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Foreign Minister of Qatar has also said that he hopes that 2021 will be the year of peace and stability for Afghanistan.
“On the peace talks between the Afghans, His Excellency expressed hope that there will be some progress in the next two days between the two negotiating delegations, and that it will witness some progress so that 2021 will be a good year for Afghanistan that brings peace and stability as it is the main purpose of Qatar in hosting this dialogue,” Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Qatari Foreign Minister hoped that peace and stability would be achieved for the Afghan people as soon as possible, and affirmed that the State of Qatar would continue its efforts in that direction.
President Ashraf Ghani meanwhile on Saturday once again called on the Taliban to agree on a ceasefire and recognize the difference of their agreement with the US and with the Afghan government.
“The people of Afghanistan, the government and our entire partners are committed to talking to you (Taliban) in a serious way, so do not hesitate from a ceasefire,” said Ghani.
The peace negotiations between teams from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban started on September 12; however, talks had been delayed because of disagreements over procedural rules.