A six-member team from the Afghan Republic comprising key political leaders, including the reconciliation council’s chief Abdullah Abdullah and former president Hamid Karzai, is expected to travel to Doha within the next few days to hold talks with the Taliban, sources briefed on the matter said.
Two former vice presidents, Mohammad Yunus Qanooni and Mohammad Karim Khalili, as well as Babur Farahmand, the deputy head of the reconciliation council, and presidential adviser Akram Khpulwak, are also part of the team.
“The delegation will focus on intra-Afghan talks and facilitation of the negotiations,” said university lecturer Faiz Mohammad Zaland.
This comes as the negotiating teams from the Afghan Republic and the Taliban met in Doha on Wednesday.
“Any effort which is carried out for peace is important. The trip of these political leaders will have its impacts, but the question is how they will manage to build trust between Kabul and Doha,” said Nasrullah Stanekzai, a law professor and analyst.
This comes as violence has significantly increased over the past two months and has left dozens killed and wounded.
Abdullah, who is in Turkey for Antalya Diplomacy Forum on Friday called on the Taliban to engage in talks, reiterating that there is a “real opportunity” for peace in the country that should be utilized.
While in Turkey, Abdullah met with foreign ministers of Iran and Pakistan.
In meeting with Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Abdullah said they exchanged views on the Afghan peace process, intra-Afghan talks, the latest political and security developments, and the two countries' bilateral relations.
Abdullah said in another tweet that he had a “detailed and frank discussion” with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and that they exchanged views on the peace process and bilateral relations.
He also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Abdullah said in a tweet that they exchanged views on the Afghan peace process and Turkey’s role in supporting the peace process.
Abdullah said that Qureshi assured him of “Pakistan’s full support for the acceleration of peace talks and stability in Afghanistan.”
Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar has also traveled to Turkey to attend the event.
“The foreign minister is expected to meet foreign ministers from the region on the sideline of the conference,” said Hamid Tahzib, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.