Four days after the start of intra-Afghan talks, the Afghan government and Taliban negotiating team are holding the first general meeting on Tuesday.
Nader Nadery, member and spokesperson for the government’s team, said that the contact groups of both delegations had met on Monday and “continued the discussion on rules and procedures and prepared to present it to the general meeting between two negotiating teams.”
Taliban’s political office spokesperson Naeem Wardak also said the contact groups had met and “again discussed the focal principles and schedule of the next meetings, and furthermore, agreed on the readiness of the general meeting.”
Both sides agreed that the general meeting of the teams will be held on Tuesday (Sep. 15).
Khalilzad’s trip to Pakistan
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, was in Islamabad on Monday.
He met Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and “appreciated Pakistan’s role in the ongoing peace process,” a statement from the Pakistani armed forces said.
He also said that the Afghan peace talks “could not have succeeded without Pakistan’s sincere and unconditional support.”
Khalilzad then left for India where he will meet with Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday.
Intra-Afghan peace talks
The intra-Afghan peace talks started on Saturday, Sep. 12, in Qatar.
The opening ceremony was attended by Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation; Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban’s Deputy Leader and Head of their Political Office in Qatar; along with the U.S. and Qatari Foreign Ministers and online presence of envoys from China, Pakistan and India, as well as the heads of international organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, NATO and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Following the opening ceremony, the government and the Taliban peace delegations met once and formed a contact group for deciding the agenda and schedule of the talks.
Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, Nader Nadery, Zarar Ahmad Muqbil, Fawzia Koofi, Enayatullah Baligh, Mohammad Natiqi and Khalid Noor are the seven members of the Afghan government’s contact group.
The Taliban is represented by Mawlawi Abdul Kabir, Abbas Stanekzai, Noorullah Noori, Shaikh Delawar and Shaikh Qasim.
The contact groups have met over the past two days, and decided that they are ready for the group discussion to be held on Tuesday.