Negotiators Meet in Doha After Days of Delay

Peace negotiators in Doha met on Sunday evening and discussed the agenda of the talks, a negotiator said.

Some members from each side in Doha, including the chief negotiators, held a meeting on Sunday evening and discussed the agenda, said Republic negotiator Nader Nadery.

The meeting comes after days of delay.

Over the nine days since the start of the second round of talks, the two sides have held four meetings, including Sunday evening’s meeting, at the working group level, but they haven’t had progress in finalizing the agenda that will open the way for formal talks.

“Afghans are seeking peace and ceasefire. Even one day that goes to waste is a lot for them,” said Haji Din Mohammad, the deputy head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.

“Based on my information, both the government and the Taliban are not interested in beginning the negotiations ahead of (Joe) Biden’s inauguration,” said Ata Mohammad Noor, the CEO of Jamiat-e-Islamic party.

“The Taliban leaders have arrived in Doha few days ago and I think that their absence in Doha was one of the reasons behind the delay in the negotiations,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, former Taliban member.

Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib in a trip to the southern province of Helmand on Sunday warned that the Taliban should embrace peace or they will be faced with a response by security forces.

“We will fight against those who do not want peace,” Mohib said.

This comes as violence has increased in the country in recent days, including targeted attacks in cities like Kabul.

The Taliban on Saturday claimed the responsibility for a complex attack on an NDS facility in the southern province of Kandahar. Local officials said four attackers were killed in the attack that started with a car bomb explosion.

The officials said the attack took “no casualties” from Afghan forces.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said that US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the political office, and Mawlawi Abdul Hakeem Haqqani, head of the negotiating team, and discussed the peace agreement and emphasized that issues should be solved via dialogue and that every side should fulfill its responsibilities in a fair way.