Afghanistan To Discuss Reconciliation With The Taliban In Qatar

Afghanistan will hold two days of “reconciliation talks” with the Taliban in Qatar. This announcement was made Saturday by the Qatari News Agency (QNA).

While the Voice Of America reports that the agency did not identify participants of these discussions, it notes that they begin on Saturday. The Wall Street Journal however, talks of an eight member delegation from the Taliban meeting some Afghan officials, but states that the discussions will begin on Sunday. According to the VOA, the Taliban had earlier identified these attendees but said the discussions “should not be misconstrued as peace or negotiation talks.”

It is hard to tell whether any peace deal will be struck from this meeting because all the participants are attending at an individual level; not as any government body or agency. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Taliban is sending eight of its members to “personally deliver the message of its oppressed nation and other such issues to the world.”

Abdul Hakim Mujahid is the acting head of the High Peace Council, Afghanistan’s highest peace negotiating body. He says one of the council’s senior members, Mullawee Attaullah Ludin, will be attending the meeting; but of course on an individual basis. The Wall Street Journal quotes Mr. Mullawee as saying, “This conference is an opportunity to exchange thoughts. The attendees will discuss the Afghan problem and share their perspectives. This cannot be described as initial negotiations. There are no other expectations from this conference.”

This cannot be described as initial negotiations. There are no other expectations from this conference

Representative from the Taliban have attended international conferences before. The most recent of them according to the Wall Street Journal was in 2012 in France. The closed-door conference was organized by a French think tank in the town of Chantilly.

The VOA reports that Qatar has become a safe haven for whoever has to, and wants to hold talks with the Taliban. It was in Qatar that U.S. officials negotiated the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from the terrorist organisation last year.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has, according to the VOA, pushed for peace talks with the Taliban.

In other coverage of the Taliban activities in Afghanistan here at Immortal News, two US soldiers have been reported killed by the Taliban attacks in Afghanistan.

What do you think of Afghan government officials taking this initial step to hold talks with the Taliban even though not on an official basis?

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