Hours after the Afghan government’s statement on direct negotiations with the Taliban, the US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad clarified that the talks will happen after the United States “concludes its own agreement” with the Taliban.
On Saturday evening, the State Minister for Peace Abdul Salam Rahimi said that direct talks between the Afghan government and Taliban will start within the next two weeks and that it will be held in a European country.
Khalilzad also clarified in a tweet that the negotiations “will take place between the Taliban and an inclusive and effective national negotiating team consisting of senior government officials, key political party representatives, civil society and women.
Rahimi said on Saturday that they have started consultations with different stakeholders on forming a 15-member negotiating team who will lead the peace talks with the Taliban.
Rahimi called on the warring sides to reduce the level of violence ahead of the direct talks.
Meanwhile, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, in a tweet on Sunday said the intra-Afghan negotiations will be among all political sides and that the Kabul government will attend as a participant, not a party. He said the talks will happen after the announcement of a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.