Intra-Afghan negotiations make headway on technicalities


KABUL: Inching closer to more serious discussions, the negotiating teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (IRA) and the Taliban have reportedly settled some contradictory items related to procedures and internal code of conduct but other related issues are yet to be resolved.

The intra-Afghan direct talks between the warring sides were launched in Doha of Qatar 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 taking some time before the talks enter into the next phase.

For the sixth day in a row, delegations from both sides in Qatar are consulting to finalize the procedural structure of the negotiations.

Reports revealed one of the two contradictory items had so far been resolved and the remaining would need further debate and a different approach. Following the finalization of these items, the next discussion is expected to be on the agenda of future talks.

Earlier, IRA delegation member Nader Nadery and the insurgent group’s spokesman, Mohammad Naeem Wardak, had said in tandem that both teams nearly reached an agreement over the internal rules and regulations of future negotiations.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) on Thursday acknowledged the talks between the sides would be difficult, adding that the Afghan team would face issues requiring hard decisions.

Nevertheless, Abdullah assured that the rights of the Afghan people, including women’s rights and civil liberties, would be protected in the negotiations.
This comes as Afghan political analysts are of the view that a ceasefire proposal by the IRA team and a demand for political system’s alteration by the Taliban will be the contentious issues that would obstruct the way toward reaching a peace agreement and thus cause delays accordingly.