Second round of talks between, US, Taliban in Qatar postponed

Agencies

KABUL: The talks between Taliban and US scheduled in Qatar have been postponed due to some issues, sources said on Tuesday (January 08).

The second round of talks between the representatives of US and Taliban were set to be held today (09 January) and the  tomorrow (10 Janu-ary) in Doha, capital of Qatar.

Sources close to Taliban told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that their representatives could not reach to Qatar in time. Due to this reason, the sources said the second round of negotiations with the US representatives have been postponed till an indefinite period of time.

“When all members of Taliban’s negotiation team reach Qatar, another date would be set for talks. No other reason exists for delay in the negotiations,” the sources said. Representative of Taliban’s Qatar office and some other key members of this organization are part of the negotiation team, the sources said. Currently, they are out of Qatar. Taliban have not said anything formally in this regard so far.

According to media reports, the representatives of US and Taliban would attend the second round of talks in Qatar. The representatives of Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other sides involved in the Afghan peace issue have not been invited to attend the talks. In the second round of talks, the sources said Taliban and US representatives would discuss various key issues including complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, end to occupation, release of prisoners and removal of Taliban leaders from sanctions list.

The Taliban have denied holding direct talks with the officials of Afghan government in the second round of negotiations. Due to this reason, the officials of Afghan government have not been invited to attend the talks, the sources said.

However, Afghan officials stress on holding direct talks with Taliban representatives. According to Afghan officials, the peace talks without the leadership and ownership of Afghans would not yield any outcomes.

Sources close to Taliban recently told AIP that the second round of talks between the US and Taliban representatives would be held in Doha, capital of Qatar on the 9th and 10th of January. However, the US and Taliban have not said anything formally about this schedule so far. In the first round of talks held in Abu Dhabi, it was said that the second phase of negotiations would be held in Saudi Arabia. However, the venue of talks was changed to Qatar due to refusal of Taliban to hold negotiations in Saudi Arabia. According to sources, the government of Saudi Arabia wanted to hold direct talks between the representatives of Taliban and Afghan government. However, the Taliban refused holding talks with the representatives of Afghan government. Due to this reason, the government of Saudi Arabia opposed the negotiations.

The Taliban representatives did not meet the officials of Afghan government during the first round of talks in Abu Dhabi. The US and other countries believe that Taliban should enter into intra-Afghan peace dialogue with the government of Afghanistan for the restoration of peace to the country.

The US officials have said that the recent efforts for peace are aimed at paving way for direct talks between the representatives of Taliban and Afghan government. According to the US, it could not represent Afghan people in the talks.

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