Progress in intra-Afghan talks draws global applause


KABUL: The initial agreement on procedural rules between the negotiating sides in Doha has been widely welcomed by the international community, including NATO, UN, EU and Qatar.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: “This is one step towards a lasting, political, peaceful resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan. And all NATO allies strongly support the peace process.”

UN’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons also welcomed the progress stating, “Moving on to the agenda is a positive development. This breakthrough should be a springboard to reach the peace wanted by all Afghans.”

Meanwhile, the EU underlined, “We reiterated our #Afghanistan2020-consensus on conditionality: peace, governance, anti-corruption and underscored the need to continue channeling large parts of our development assistance through.”

Qatar’s government said that the noteworthy progress showed that the Afghan parties were serious and able to overcome differences and address challenging issues.

This comes as the Afghan negotiating sides in Doha on Wednesday announced to have finalized the contentious working procedures, setting the stage for more substantive talks and agenda.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s sources inform that the talks on the agenda might begin on Saturday – the first-ever meeting on agenda which is expected to pave the way for discussion on major issues.