Taliban: On Nov. 15 Doha Negotiators Agreed on Rules

The Taliban’s spokesman in Doha, Mohammad Naeem, says that negotiators from both sides on November 15 agreed on procedural rules with 21 items for the intra-Afghan talks and it was read out in Pashto and Dari & a copy was delivered to the host nation.

“The procedure of Intra-Afghan negotiations between the negotiating teams was completed and finalized in 21 articles on the 15th of November 2020,” tweeted Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban.

Sources this week reported a breakthrough in the talks and said both sides have agreed to include the US-Taliban agreement, UN endorsements for the Afghan peace process, commitments of the negotiating teams and the will of the Afghan people as the base for upcoming negotiations.

But the Presidential Palace on Wednesday denied that progress had been made in the peace talks between negotiators of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, and said the deadlock remained.

Sources this week said that Afghan chief negotiator Mohammad Massoom Stanikzai and presidential peace adviser Salam Rahimi have been on a secret trip to Kabul over the past three days, seeking President Ghani’s approval for the agreed formulation.

The peace negotiations between teams from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban started on September 12; however, to date no direct talks have started because of disagreements on procedural rules for the negotiations.

Violence continues and appears to be escalating since the talks began.

The Taliban has staged attacks on the centers of at least 50 districts in 16 provinces of the country following the signing of the peace deal with the US in Doha in February, and most of these attacks happened in the last two months after the start of the negotiations in Qatar on September 12, sources from various provinces said Thursday.

Since the start of the talks in Doha, members of the contact groups of both sides of the peace negotiations have met several times to agree on the contested issue.

This comes as pressures from Afghanistan’s international partners mounts on both sides of the talks to compromise and show flexibility during the talks.