Doha talks continue, negotiators confer on agenda preparation

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KABUL: In a second face-to-face meeting since the opening ceremony of intra-Afghan talks, the negotiating teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the remaining work of contact groups, as well as the roadmap, confirmed statements by the sides that were issued in tandem.


Earlier reports suggested that the negotiators were scheduled to engage in the first formal session of the intra-Afghan talks on Tuesday in the Qatari capital of Doha to begin conferring on key and substantive issues. However, discussions on key issues are yet to begin as they still have to agree on the framework of the talks.


The statements from the sides, which were interestingly released at the same time, read that another meeting will be held for preparing the agenda following the finalization of the framework and schedule.


Both sides also appointed two point persons to maintain communication among the sides. The statements predominantly had the same narrative of the meeting, saying heads of delegations reiterated the need for patience and tolerance as they moved forward in the talks.


Considering the past ups and downs in the talks, it’s a laudable development between the warring sides as it seems they have agreed to work in unison, something that’s mostly welcomed and increases prospects of positive progress in the peace parleys.


Both sides have reportedly agreed to hold dialogue behind closed doors without ‘interference’ of foreigners.


The unprecedented direct talks between the warring sides were launched through an opening ceremony on Saturday that was attended by representatives and dignitaries of various countries.


The formal discussions were expected to get underway immediately after the launch; however, administrative issues and technicalities are going to take some time before the talks get into the next phase.