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Contact groups hold first meeting in Doha

Contact groups hold first meeting in Doha

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14 Sep 2020 - 08:25
Contact groups hold first meeting in Doha
author avatar
14 Sep 2020 - 08:25

KABUL negotiators have held their first meeting in Doha.

The two sides conferred on the agenda, principles, scheduling and other issues related to the first direct negotiations.

After years of efforts, the negotiating teams met behind closed doors on Saturday following the opening ceremony for the intra-Afghan talks on Saturday.

The contact groups met late on Sunday after a delay of several hours for technical reasons. The teams asserted their seriousness about the long-awaited dialogue.

Masoom Stanekzai, Fawzia Koofi, Nader Nadery, Enayatullah Baligh, Zarar Ahmad Muqbil, Mohammad Natiqi and Khalid Noor are members of the government contact group.

Massoum Stanikzai, Kabul’s chief negotiator, claimed the two sides met in a positive ambience and no one raked up divisive issues.

“Violence must be reduced significantly with the start of the negotiations so that we could reach a humanitarian ceasefire,” said Dr. Abdullah, the High Council for National Reconciliation chairman.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said establishing an Islamic government and the release of more than 7,000 prisoners of the group would be discussed.

“We sincerely desire a ceasefire and an end to the conflict,” remarked Taliban negotiator Abdul Salam Hanafi.

The Taliban contact group members include Maulvi Abdul Kabir, Abbas Stanikzai, Noorullah Noori, Shaikh Dilawar and Shaikh Qasim.

Two of government negotiators — Ghairat Bahir of Hezb-i-Islami and Fatima Gilani skipped the opening ceremony in Doha on Saturday.

Baheer has reportedly been barred by Hezb-i-Islami chief Gulbadin Hekmatyar from joining the delegation and Gilani could not make it to Qatar on medical grounds.


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