KABUL (Tolo News): The Afghan Republic and the Taliban negotiators held their third meeting after over a month-long deadlock in the talks with the main focus on the agenda of the negotiators, officials confirmed. The meeting was held in working group level that is aimed at finalizing the agenda of the negotiations.
“Discussions were held around agendas of the two sides and their priorities regarding the agenda of the talks,” said Najia Anwari, spokesperson for the State Ministry for Peace Affairs. This comes as President Ghani met with ambassadors of NATO member nations in Kabul and discussions were focused on the peace process, the US’s decision to review the Doha deal and the NATO defense ministers conference, the Presidential Palace said.
In this meeting, President Ghani highlighted the role of Afghan forces in fighting terrorism and emphasized the need for a ceasefire, the Palace said. NATO ambassadors in the meeting reiterated the alliance’s longstanding support to ANDSF, peace, ceasefire, protection of gains and democracy in Afghanistan, the statement said.
However, the Taliban has been insisting that the US has violated the Doha agreement. The deputy leader of the group, Sirajuddin Haqqani, in an audio message to his supporters has accused the US of violating the Doha agreement and has said that the group has remained firm to its commitments in the deal.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Umer Daudzai, President Ghani’s special envoy for Pakistan, met with Pakistani officials in Islamabad about the Afghan peace process. Daudzai said that it seems that this time Pakistan is looking to contribute sincerely in the peace process.
He said that he has also shared a roadmap for peace in Afghanistan with the Pakistani officials that has focused on ceasefire by Pakistan’s cooperation and has sought Pakistan’s help to persuade the Taliban to continue the peace process. Daudzai said that Pakistan is concerned that the new US administration’s review of the Doha agreement could lead to changes in the text of the agreement and that the Taliban will not continue talks.
“They will read the text and will decide about it and will tell us that on which part they can support us and on what part they cannot. Then in the third phase, that will become a plan and will be implemented by the two countries,” said Daudzai. Daudzai added that Pakistan is moving towards a change, “but we cannot say that it will change as we use the term change or to say that we will soon see a ceasefire and peace.”
Meanwhile, Roha Rahmani, Afghan ambassador to the US, has said that there is a need for more pressure by the US on the efforts to continue the peace negotiations. “The path ahead is not easy, but it is not impossible. With the demonstrated resilience of the Afghan people and our allies’ commitment to security, camaraderie, and democracy, we can achieve durable peace together,” she said.
This comes as German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer during an unannounced visit to the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in Balkh province said that Germany strongly supports the Afghan peace process. “Afghanistan urgently needs a settlement between the opposing groups of its society,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said according to a statement, as quoted by Reuters, adding that Berlin’s goal remained an orderly withdrawal of troops. According to Reuters report, Kramp-Karrenbauer has warned that a premature withdrawal of NATO troops could jeopardize peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban and said NATO troops needed to prepare for Taliban violence should they stay beyond the end of April.