Ghani flies to Kuwait, Qatar amid impasse in talks


KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left for Kuwait early on Monday to attend the funeral of the late Emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who died last week. 

After paying his last respects, Ghani is slated to head for Doha, Qatar, to meet with high-ranking Qatari government officials. 

At the head of a high-level government delegation and while flanked by media persons, Ghani is expected to arrive in Doha late on Monday and is scheduled to meet Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to discuss bilateral relations and ways to enhance them.

President Ghani is also expected to ask Qatari and American officials to press the Taliban for a comprehensive ceasefire.

Doha is currently the venue for the intra-Afghan negotiations between the republic and the Taliban’s negotiating teams. It hasn’t been clarified whether Ghani would meet either side during his visit to the Qatari capital. 

This is while experts laud Ghani’s trip and are hopeful that it would help with achieving a long-lasting ceasefire.

An Afghan social activist and writer, Bakht Marjan Bakhtiar, believes “President Ghani’s visit to the countries is crucial at this time because Qatar is engaged in the Afghan saga of war and Kuwait enjoys a good a relationship with Qatar, which can be persuaded into utilizing its influence on the Taliban.”

He was optimistic about Ghani’s foray and hoped it would consequently culminate in reaching a ceasefire.