Doha talks: Negotiators begin discussion on substantive agenda  


KABUL: A remarkable breakthrough comes as the Afghan negotiating sides in Doha finalized the contentious working procedures, setting the stage for more substantive talks and agenda.

On Wednesday, the Afghan republican team said the procedures, including its preamble, had been finalized and thus, negotiations would begin on the agenda.

Both the negotiating sides released a statement, confirming a plenary meeting was convened to move forward with the agenda of further negotiations.

Meanwhile, the Taliban say ongoing talks between the Afghan and the group’s negotiating teams showed both sides had the will to bring sustainable peace to Afghanistan.

In this meeting, a joint working committee was tasked to prepare the draft topics of the agenda (for the upcoming discussions between the two sides), said Mohammad Naeem Wardak, spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar.

Wardak said that their representatives also met with the UN special representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons and discussed intra-Afghan talks, the release of the remaining Taliban inmates and the removal of the Taliban leaders from the blacklist of the UN Security Council.

The UN representative had arrived in Doha for breaking the deadlock between the Taliban and Afghan teams.

These statements from the Taliban come as an agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban negotiating teams was reached on procedural rules for peace talks on Wednesday after three months of stalemate.

There are also reports that High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Chairman Dr. Abdullah Abdullah is expected to hold its initial meeting on the agenda for peace talks on upcoming Saturday.