Taliban ready to start meaningful talks: negotiators

Two members of the Afghan Republic’s negotiating team, who are in Kabul, said on Wednesday that the Taliban is ready to start meaningful negotiations.

Habiba Sarabi, a member of the Republic’s negotiating team, said peace talks to finalize the agenda of intra-Afghan negotiations will resume once members of both teams are back in Doha, Qatar.

“When the Taliban delegation arrives in Doha, they will inform us, then we will also go to Doha to start negotiations to finalize the agenda,” said Sarabi.

“The Taliban has been preparing for meaningful talks,” said Ghulam Farooq Majrouh, another member of the Republic’s negotiating team.

Meanwhile, sources said the Taliban is ready to attend peace talks sessions following progress that has been made on the release of 7,000 Taliban prisoners.

“Peace talks in Doha were not successful; it did not have any results. All hopes are on the Turkey Conference, and it is an important conference,” said Humayoun Jarir, a member of Hizb-e-Islami.

The Afghan government has meanwhile said they will release the 7,000 Taliban prisoners if it results in a ceasefire and political settlement.

“We are ready for discussions about this; if the Taliban has an intention for a durable peace and ceasefire” said Dawa Khan Minapal, head of Government Media and Information Center (GMIC).

This comes after Afghan Republic peace talks team members and Taliban representatives met in Doha in Qatar on Friday (May 14) and discussed the need to speed up negotiations.

The talks, which started in September, have largely stalled while a US-proposed peace meeting scheduled for Turkey was also put on hold after the Taliban refused to attend.

In this time however, violence across Afghanistan has intensified.