Afghan President Ashraf Ghani attends a meeting. File photo
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani is travelling to Qatar for a bilateral meeting with Qatari leaders but will not hold a meeting with Taliban officials even as peace talks are underway in the country's capital city Doha, officials said on Monday.
Negotiations between the Afghan government and Afghan Taliban that started last month are aimed at the warring sides agreeing to a reduction of violence and a possible new power-sharing agreement in Afghanistan.
Violence, however, has not abated even as Afghan negotiators have been engaged in direct talks for the first time ever.
Scores of Afghan soldiers and Taliban fighters have been killed in intensive clashes and suicide attacks have left dozens of civilians dead in recent weeks across the war-torn country.
Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of a truck bomb attack in Ghanikhil district on Saturday. AP
Ghani and his team will be stopping first in Kuwait to attend the funeral ceremony of the late Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah before travelling to Qatar on Monday, a close aide to Ghani told the media.
"Several meetings are planned to discuss efforts for deepening Afghanistan-Qatar ties and mutual cooperation in various areas," said the official adding that Ghani will also meet the Afghan representatives who are holding talks with Taliban.
"But it is clear that Ghani will not meet the Taliban officials as there has been no reduction of violence and they continue to kill innocent civilians," said a senior western diplomat overseeing the ongoing peace process.
The intra-Afghan talks are part of a February deal between the militants and the United States that has cleared the way for US forces to withdraw from their longest war.
But so far there has been no progress as the warring Afghans have become bogged down on processes and procedures, diplomatic sources said.
President Donald Trump halted talks with the group, aimed at striking a deal for US and other foreign troops to withdraw in exchange for Taliban security guarantees, after it carried out a bomb attack in Kabul that killed 12 people, including a US soldier.
The Taliban met US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in the Pakistan capital for the first time since President Donald Trump declared a seemingly imminent peace deal to end Afghanistan's 18-year war 'dead' a month ago, a Taliban official said early on Saturday.
Under a deal signed by the US and the Taliban last month, the insurgents agreed to commit to starting talks with the Afghan government and discuss a possible ceasefire.
Long-awaited peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban were expected to start in Qatar within a week once the final batch of Taliban prisoners were released, the US special envoy and Afghan government sources said on Monday.
Speaking during the tour, Sheikh Mohammed said Expo 2020 brings together 192 nations with diverse cultures, aspirations and innovations, making the mega global event a unique platform for discovering new engagement, investment and partnership opportunities.
Expo 2020 Dubai has recorded 1,471,314 visits since its launch 24 days ago. Continuing to bring Expo 2020 Dubai to a global digital audience, the number of virtual visitors has risen to 10.8 million since Oct.1, up from 9.3 million last week.
The circulating video clip showed that a number of vehicle drivers practiced drifting on one of the Al-Quway'iyah roads in Riyadh, including a GMC car that got out of control as a result of overspeeding.