Delegations from the Afghan authorities and the Taliban stated in a joint assertion on Sunday that they may meet once more and plan to expedite peace negotiations after two days of inconclusive talks in Doha, Al Jazeera has discovered.
The negotiators from the rival sides, who’ve been in Doha since Saturday, stated “the 2 sides dedicated to proceed negotiations at a excessive stage till a settlement is reached”.
“We’ll work to offer humanitarian help all through Afghanistan,” the assertion added.
Reporting from Doha, Al Jazeera’s Osama bin Javaid stated: “A hotly contested draft was put forth by each side the place they lastly agreed to speak to one another and to hurry up talks. They agreed that the extent of negotiations might be expedited.”
Javaid added that the specifics, nevertheless, weren’t mentioned.
For months, the 2 sides have been assembly intermittently within the Qatari capital, however have achieved little if any notable success. The discussions seem to have misplaced momentum because the Taliban fighters have made monumental beneficial properties on the battlefield.
Senior representatives of the Kabul authorities, together with the top of the Excessive Council for Nationwide Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, flew in for 2 days of intensive talks as US forces are about to finish their troops’ pullout.
Forward of the second day of talks, the Taliban’s Supreme Chief Haibatullah Akhundzada had stated “the Islamic emirate strenuously favours a political settlement” regardless of the teams lightning victories on the bottom.
However the Qatari facilitator of the talks stated on the finish of the 2 days that the edges had merely agreed to “work to forestall civilian casualties”, far in need of beforehand agreed ceasefires.
“The 2 sides agreed to proceed negotiations at a excessive stage till a settlement is reached. For this function, they may meet once more subsequent week,” stated Qatar’s counterterrorism envoy Mutlaq al-Qahtani, who oversees the Doha talks.
Advanced army campaigns
Taliban chief Akhundzada has stated his group remained dedicated to forging an answer to finish the struggle however slammed the group’s opponents for “losing time”.
The Taliban capitalised on the final phases of the withdrawal of US and different overseas troops from Afghanistan to launch a collection of lightning offensives throughout the nation.
The group is now believed to manage roughly half of the nation’s 400 districts, a number of essential border crossings, and has laid siege to a string of important provincial capitals.
A spokesman for the Afghan safety forces stated that pro-government fighters had carried out 244 operations, killing 967 “enemy” fighters – together with key commanders.
“Now we have recaptured 24 districts to this point, our purpose is to retake all of the territories … We’re able to defend our nation,” Ajmal Omar Shinwari advised reporters.
The Taliban has lengthy seemed to be united, working underneath an efficient chain of command and finishing up complicated army campaigns regardless of perennial rumours of splits inside its management.
However questions stay over how a lot management the Taliban’s leaders have over commanders on the bottom, and whether or not they may have the ability to persuade them to abide by a possible settlement if signed.
Regardless of coming days forward of the Eid vacation, the Taliban chief’s assertion notably made no point out of a proper name for a ceasefire.
Through the years, the Taliban has introduced a collection of brief truces throughout Islamic holidays, initially spurring hopes for a bigger discount of violence. Nonetheless, the group has been criticised for utilizing the momentary ceasefires to resupply and reinforce their fighters, permitting them to launch withering onslaughts on Afghanistan’s safety forces as soon as the truce expires.
Talking from Washington, DC, Al Jazeera’s Rosalind Jordan stated: “The US understanding has at all times been that one thing of this magnitude to achieve a complete peace deal between the Taliban and the civilian-led authorities in Kabul goes to take time and might be troublesome. That’s the reason you see all these repeated rounds of talks.”
She added that though US troops left Afghanistan earlier this month, the nation remained an essential overseas coverage challenge for the US.
“In the case of the short-term overseas coverage of the USA, it’s nonetheless very a lot involved and Afghanistan could be very a lot a central a part of it,” she defined, added that US delegations have been visiting neighbouring international locations to speak about methods they’ll assist Afghanistan thrive and transfer away from the prospects of civil struggle.
The US-led army coalition has been on the bottom in Afghanistan for almost 20 years following an invasion launched following the September 11, 2001 assaults.
Fears are rising that Afghan forces might be overwhelmed with out very important coalition air assist, permitting for a whole Taliban army takeover or the beginning of a multi-sided civil struggle in a rustic awash with weapons following almost 4 many years of preventing.