‘Negotiating sides make progress on long-running contentious issues’

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KABUL: Reports suggest progress is made on the procedural issues obstructing the intra-Afghan talks in Doha for more than two months.


Differences over Islamic Jurisprudence and the US-Taliban deal as the basis for the talks were two of the key issues that had stalled progress.


Both sides have reportedly agreed to include the US-Taliban deal, UN endorsements for the Afghan peace process, commitments of the negotiating teams, and the will of the Afghan people as the base for upcoming substantive negotiations.


However, the Islamic Republic and the Taliban negotiating teams in Doha haven’t said anything of the believed breakthrough in the parleys.


Meanwhile, according to sources familiar with the talks, the Afghan chief negotiator Mohammad Massoom Stanikzai and the presidential peace advisor Salam Rahimi are on a secret trip to Kabul to seek the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s approval on the said agreement.


The alleged breakthrough comes following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s separate meetings with the negotiating sides in Doha. Nevertheless, there is no word whether Pompeo’s visit has played any role in breaking the deadlock.