Taliban, Afghan government agree to advance talks to next stage

WION Web Team
Kabul Published: Dec 02, 2020, 06:52 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

The agreement between the Taliban and the Ghani government comes after several rounds of talks in Doha over months spearheaded by the Trump administration

The Afghan government and the Taliban agreed to "procedures" for the intra-Afghan negotiations with discussions set to begin, negotiators said today.

Also Read: Germany warns against 'rash actions' over troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

The two sides had begun talks in September but it got bogged down over several issues amid escalation in violence.

"I welcome the initial major step taken in Doha today agreeing to the procedural framework that paves the way for discussions about the peace agenda," Dr Abudullah Abdullah, who is the chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, said.

×

The Trump administration has decided to pull foreign troops out of the country in exchange for security guarantees and the Taliban's pledge to hold talks with the Ghani government.

"As negotiations on a political roadmap and permanent ceasefire begin, we will work hard  with all sides for serious reduction of violence and even a ceasefire during this period," US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad said while reiterating that he now expects "rapid progress on a political roadmap and a ceasefire."

×

The agreement comes after several rounds of talks in Doha over months spearheaded by the United States government. The Taliban had earlier refused to agree to a ceasefire during the talks leading to a deadlock.

The Taliban said, "the procedures including its preamble of the intra-Afghan negotiations has been finalised and from now on, the negotiations will begin on the agenda."

×

In February, the Trump administration had struck a deal with the Taliban according to which foreign forces were to leave Afghanistan by May 2021 subject to guarantees from the Taliban which included a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing agreement with the Ghani government.

The talks were given a further boost by US secretary of state Mike Pompeo who called for "expedited discussions" when he met the Taliban representatives and the Afghan government officials in Doha last month.
 

Read in App