War Amid Peace Talks: General Meeting Of Afghan Gov’t-Taliban Held In Doha

A general meeting of the Afghan government and the Taliban’s negotiating teams was held on Wednesday evening, amid rising violence in Afghanistan.

Nader Nadery, spokesperson for the Afghan government’s negotiating team, tweeted that the heads and members of both delegations met, and the contentious issues were discussed.

“The heads and members of both delegations discussed disputed issues and emphasized that the contact groups meet again to present solutions.”

Naeem Wardak, spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, also tweeted about the general session and said both negotiating team heads asked for the talks to be “pushed forward in a good manner.”

Wardak noted that the contact groups had been instructed to continue their discussions to resolve the dispute so an agreement can be reached on the procedures “as soon as possible.” The agenda will be discussed next, he said.

After almost two weeks of stopped formal talks, both sides resumed their meetings on Monday evening to finalise agreements on the procedural rules.

However, recent meetings have also ended without an outcome.

Intensity of conflicts

A number of Afghan provinces, including parts of Helmand and Baghlan, have witneesed heavy clashes between security forces and the Taliban.

Acting Defense Minister Gen. Assadullah Khalid, who is in Helmand, said they were able to prevent the Taliban from taking over Lashkar Gah city, the provincial centre.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said that the ongoing violence had forced thousands of civilians to flee their homes, and that initial reports indicated that civilians, including women and children, had been killed and injured.

“Violence only heaps further hardship and misery on ordinary Afghans and undermines efforts for progress and building bridges between parties at the historic Afghanistan peace talks in Doha,” UNAMA tweeted.

They reiterated the urgency to halt the violence and focus on reaching a peaceful agreement on the Afghan conflict.

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