Next Round of Talks Delayed Until January 5: Negotiators

Negotiators in Doha on Saturday reported that both sides have exchanged their lists about the agenda of the peace negotiations and that the next phase of the talks will begin on January 5.

The negotiating teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban earlier this month agreed on procedural rules for the talks. Following their agreement, they held three meetings on the agenda of the negotiations and were expected to start the talks this week.

The negotiators did not mention whether the talks will be convened in Doha or somewhere else.

“Both sides of intra-Afghan negotiations exchanged their preliminary list about the agenda of the talks. They also held preliminary discussions about this issue. In order to conduct more consultations, the two sides agreed to take a break from December 14 to January 5,” Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said.

Afghan negotiator Nader Nadery said also said that both sides exchanged their preliminary lists and agreed to conduct more consultations.

This comes hours after National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib said the next rounds of the peace negotiations between the teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban should be conducted in Afghanistan, adding that the government does not have any consideration with any venue that is selected by the Taliban.

Mohib said the Afghan government is ready to hold talks with the Taliban in any part of the country that they suggest.

Nevertheless, Afghanistan’s Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh on Saturday said that any political system including an Islamic emirate in which there is repression will prolong the war in Afghanistan under a different context.

Danish said that the Afghan people have serious concerns about their rights and civil liberties in the peace process.

He said the republic system, rights and liberties of the Afghans make the basic principles of the government.