Kabul and the Taliban have been negotiating peace for more than two months. After a long period of inactivity, the conflict parties are now reporting progress. But the violence continues.
Doha / Kabul (dpa) – More than two months after the start of the Afghan peace talks, the warring parties have first reported significant progress.
Negotiators for the militant Islamist Taliban and the government had cleared up important procedural issues in Qatar, both sides confirmed on Saturday. According to the government, the agreement is not yet official. Meanwhile, the conflict continues.
At least 30 soldiers were killed on Sunday and dozens more were injured in an attack in the east of the country, local authorities said. Accordingly, a vehicle loaded with explosives detonated at an army base in Ghazni province. Initially, no one recognized the attack in the hard-won province. Both the Taliban and the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia had carried out similar attacks.
According to a report from the Islamists, the Taliban and Kabul had already agreed on 21 principles for the actual substantive negotiations of the peace talks on November 15. However, the government’s negotiating delegation said that “further discussion and clarification” was required. The agreement has yet to be ratified by a meeting of both negotiating teams. Until now, both parties have usually met in small groups.
The government recently denied reports from Afghan broadcaster Tolonews of a breakthrough. Government spokesman Sedik Sedikki said on Wednesday that some of the Taliban’s demands were incompatible with the constitution. Sedikki did not give details.
In a virtual donors conference on Tuesday, the international community pledged further billions in aid to Afghanistan over the next four years. However, the willingness to donate declined. Donor countries also made development aid dependent on the future of the peace talks. After decades of conflict, the country remains dependent on humanitarian aid.
The Taliban have been talking to representatives of the Afghan Republic about peace since September 12. The trial was bogged down in litigation over procedural issues. The Taliban continue to reject a ceasefire. Host country Qatar had assumed the role of mediator. The conflict in the country continues brutally.
In late February, the Taliban signed an agreement with the US providing for the gradual withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The peace negotiations are the main concession the US has won from the Taliban. In return, the Islamists pledged to cut ties with other terrorists.