Afghan Peace Delegation Denies Agreement On Code Of Conduct

The peace negotiating team of the Afghan government denied reports that they had reached an agreement with the Taliban regarding the code of conduct for the peace talks.

Earlier on Tuesday, Reuters news agency had spoken to sources who said that the Taliban and Afghan delegations have agreed on 19 ground rules to be observed during the negotiations, with the help of U.S. officials.

The Afghan side denied the report in a statement released on Twitter on Tuesday evening.

“The news published by Reuters regarding the completion of code of conduct for peace talks’ sessions is incorrect,” they said, without providing details.

Media reported that the members of the delegations have met informally but have not had any formal sessions in the past week for negotiating the code of conduct.

Both delegations have been disagreeing over the application of only Hanafi jurisprudence during the talks and the U.S.-Taliban agreement as the basis, as demanded by the Taliban.

A ceasefire remains a top priority for Afghan officials and western envoys who are facilitating the talks.

Ghani in Qatar

President Ashraf Ghani, who is in Qatar for an official visit, met the Afghan negotiating delegation on Monday evening.

“I extend gratitude to you for your patience, principled approach and setting objectives in line with the Afghanistan Constitution, national interests and mandate of the Consultative Peace Jirga,” he said.

“You are the team that connects and not divides. The Afghan nation want an end to the 40-years of suffering and crisis,” he added.

Masoom Stanekzai, the chief Afghan negotiator, told media that the delay in talks should not be of concern as both sides are committed to getting the peace process off the ground.

“In the last few days, we have had internal discussions and so did the other side. We are trying to find common ground for disputed points,” said Khalid Noor, another Afghan negotiator.

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