Taliban negotiators missing from second round of Doha talks

DOHA (TOLOnews): Sources in Qatar said that some members of the Taliban’s negotiating team, including their chief negotiator Shaikh Abdul Hakim Haqqani, have not traveled back to Doha from Pakistan to attend the second round of negotiations.

Sources close to the Taliban said that the suggestion of a plan for an interim government by US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is the reason behind the delay in the Taliban’s trip to Qatar.

Taliban spokesman Naeem rejected the report that Abdul Hakim Haqqani has not gone to Qatar so far.

The negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has been in Qatar for the last five days.

The two sides have held a meeting in working groups level on Saturday.

The High Council for National Reconciliation said that some members of the Afghan Republic’s neg-otiating team also have not gone to Qatar, adding that the lack of some negotiat-ors in Doha has not created any problem for the pro-cess. “Most members of the (Afghan Republic) negotiating team are in Qatar. Initial discussions have started. Some negotiators, both from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, have not arrived (in Qatar) so far. Some of them might have delayed their trip due to personal issues,” said Mujib Rahman Rahimi, head of the media office of the High Council for National Reconciliation.

“The working committees of both sides held a meeting on Saturday to discuss the unification and preparation of the agenda,” said Najia Anwari, a spokesperson to the State Ministry for Peace Affairs.

“The meeting was held in a friendly environment… And it was pledged to continue the meetings.”

Meanwhile, members of some political parties at a gathering in Kabul on Sunday stressed the need for ceasefire in the country and said they oppose any plan on the establishment of an interim government as part of a peace deal.

“Conflicts have intensified amid peace efforts. When we ask the reason, they say that it is because they want to have an achievement,” said Almas Zahid, a presidential adviser. “The issue of an interim government is an early discussion. There is a need for decision on ceasefire as a priority,” said Sayed Jawad Husaini, head of Justice and Development Party.

The second round of the peace negotiations has been called important and both sides are expected to discuss ceasefire and a future government.