Code of conduct for talks not finalized, confirms Govt., Taliban

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KABUL: The Taliban and Afghan government’s peace negotiators have allegedly reached an agreement on a code of conduct that removes risks of any breakdowns in intra-Afghan talks, reported some media outlets on Tuesday, but the Afghan sides repudiate the breakthrough as baseless.


According to a Reuter’s report that quoted three officials on the condition of anonymity, the Taliban and Afghan representatives have agreed on a code of conduct that sets ground rules to advance peace talks in Doha and safeguards the negotiations from being collapsed.


Reuters claimed the two sides drew up 19 ground rules that their negotiators should observe during talks.


However, soon after the news broke out, the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan called it baseless. “The news that Reuters News Agency has published about the finalization of the Code of Conduct of the peace negotiation is not true,” read a tweet from the team.


Meanwhile, the Taliban have also rejected the claim as unfounded, saying the long-running issue hasn’t been finalized yet.


The new development in the peace talks have reportedly come through the mediation of US officials in the wake of the negotiations between the two sides having arrived at an impasse over disagreements on how the Hanafi Islamic code could be used to guide talks and whether the US-Taliban agreement signed in February should be the base for dialogue, something that the Taliban want.


This comes as Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani who is on a visit to Qatar, has met with the US envoy for the Afghan reconciliation process, Zalmai Khalilzad and Gen. Austin Miller, the U.S and NATO forces commander in Afghanistan. Some attributed Ghani’s trip as a contributing factor in the alleged development.