Afghanistan, Taliban peace talks resume as bloodshed continues - GulfToday

Afghanistan, Taliban peace talks resume as bloodshed continues


Senior officials Taliban arrive to the signing of a US-Taliban agreement in Doha. File/AFP

Gulf Today Report

A chief negotiator of the Afghan government, Masoom Stanekzai, has said that the issue of targeted killings, one of the serious issues that we need to raise and follow, will be discussed when the next phase of the peace talks with the Taliban resumes on January 5.

A fresh round of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban begins in Qatar on Tuesday.

Stanekzai’s remarks come as six journalists have been killed in various incidents of targeted attacks across Afghanistan in the last two months.


Afghan journalist shot dead in car ambush

Pakistan arrests at least 26 after temple destroyed

On Friday, unidentified armed men in the city of Feroz Koh killed Bismillah Adil Aimaq, a journalist and civil society activist in Ghor province, in an attack.

A string of assassinations has sowed fear and chaos across Afghanistan, but both parties made something of a breakthrough last year when they finally agreed at least on what to discuss in the next round.

Suhail Shaheen, spokesman for the Taliban's political office in Doha, speaks to the media. File/AP

Afghan government negotiators will push for a permanent ceasefire and to protect the existing system of governance, in place since the ouster of the Taliban in 2001 by a US-led invasion in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

"The talks are going to be very complicated and time-consuming," Ghulam Farooq Majroh, a government negotiator, told AFP.

"But we are hopeful to arrive at a result as soon as possible as people are tired of this bloody war."

The Taliban did not offer any comment.

The first direct talks between the warring sides opened in September after months of delays, but quickly became bogged down by disputes on the basic framework of discussions and religious interpretations.

A concerted diplomatic effort from Washington finally led to a consensus.

The negotiations follow a landmark troop withdrawal deal signed in February by the Taliban and Washington, which saw the US pledge to pull out all foreign forces from Afghanistan by May 2021.

Related articles