Long-anticipated peace talks delayed till indefinite time


KABUL: Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban that were expected to be held in Qatar have been postponed for an indefinite period for unknown reasons.

There were reports yesterday that a government delegation appointed for intra-Afghan talks would travel to Qatar on Saturday, August 15, and then face-to-face talks would begin on Sunday.

However, now members of the peace delegation have told the media that talks have been postponed, and according to them, the Afghan delegation would visit Qatar later this week.

On the other hand, there are reports that the reason for the delay is the unknown fate of several Afghan army commandos and officers who have not yet been released by the Taliban.

Beyond all this, the verbal exchange of words between the parties involved indicates that the room for face-to-face talks and mutual acceptance is still not as good as expected.

In a recent statement, the Taliban said: “The Islamic Emirate does not recognize the Kabul administration as a system.”

The Taliban have also harshly responded to President Ghani’s recent remarks to US researchers and the media, calling it propaganda, irrelevant and provocative remarks against peace, adding they hampered intra-Afghan parleys.

Besides, President Ghani in his recent remarks said releasing the Taliban prisoners convicted of drug trafficking and moral crimes was a threat to international security.

Moreover, Presidential Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi wrote on his Twitter handle in response to the Taliban’s statement that the Taliban continued to waste time and made excuses for starting the peace talks.

According to Mr. Siddiqi, the Afghan government was representing the vast majority of the people, emphasizing it was a key actor in the peace talks.