Kabul top brass continues talks for peace with Taliban

Afghan talks Rival sides agree on'road map for peace

Washington is hoping the details of the roadmap can be decided by September 1, allowing for the withdrawal of United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops from Afghanistan.

Nearly all delegates from Kabul at the intra-Afghan conference in Doha, the capital of Qatar, Monday demanded that the Taliban declare ceasefire and start direct talks with the government as only Afghans can solve the problem, according to several participants of the moot.

Pakistan has helped facilitate peace talks between Washington and the Taliban.

In this file photo taken on April 28, 2019, USA special representative for Afghan peace and reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad speaks during a forum with Afghan director of TOLO news Lotfullah Najafizada, at the Tolo TV station in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The flurry of talks will continue with the resumption of direct US-Taliban contact also in Doha on Tuesday as both sides eye a resolution to the bloody 18-year conflict.

Dr. Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs' Special Envoy for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution, in his address during the intra-Afghan talks in Doha on Monday has expressed that Qatar's interests lie in a peaceful resolution in Afghanistan, which is far from another military settlement.

"I congratulate the participants - Afghan society representatives across generations, senior government officials, Taliban - for finding common ground".

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Noorullah Noori (center) and Mohammad Nabi Omari (right), members of the Taliban who were former prisoners held by the U.S.at Guantanamo Bay attend the Intra Afghan Dialogue talks in Doha, Qatar, July 7, 2019. However, for months, the talks have hit a roadblock over the refusal of the Taliban to accept the legitimacy of the government of president Ashraf Ghani.

Al Qahtani, while discussing the development of the talks between the USA and Taliban, stated that the Qatari state is so far quite satisfied with the on-going negotiations. "But no they haven't said therefore they don't want to reach an agreement with us".

Khalilzad has described the latest round of U.S. -Taliban talks as the "most productive" ever, telling RFE/RL that "a lot of progress" has been made.

Ghani's administration, which the Taliban consider a puppet regime, has also been excluded from the direct US-Taliban talks.

Sunday and Monday's gathering was the third such meeting following landmark summits in Moscow in February and May.

On the Taliban's role in the future, Karzai noted that as the United States prepares to exit Afghanistan, "we seek a solution in a manner that will allow the Taliban to be part of the Afghan political system".

In all versions of the joint declaration, the Taliban and intra-Afghan delegates said they agreed to reduce "civilian casualties to zero" with pledges not to attack hospitals and schools or critical infrastructure such as hydroelectric dams. The Taliban have repeatedly derided the elected Kabul government as a US puppet.

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