Taliban resumes talks with Afghan government in Doha

Almost after a gap of one month, the Taliban and the Afghan resumed their talks in Doha, Qatar

Feb 23, 2021
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Almost after a gap of one month, the Taliban and the Afghan resumed their talks in Doha, Qatar. Heads of both teams and some members held a meeting on Monday evening and decided to continue their discussion on the agenda, said Taliban’s spokesperson Muhammad Naeem on Twitter. 

The second round of the intra-Afghan talks, which began on 5 January, abruptly ended in January as the negotiating team of the Taliban stopped participating in meetings in Doha. 

Talks resumed after Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday appealed to the Taliban to return to talks as the Afghan people were bearing the brunt of rising violence. Last week, he also had a conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the latter thanked the former for its crucial support for the Afghan peace process.    

Under the Doha deal signed on 29 February last year between the US and the Taliban, the latter agreed to negotiate a power-sharing deal with the Afghan government in exchange for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, prisoner release, and removal of blacklisting of its top leadership. 

In the same deal, the Afghan insurgent also committed to reducing violence- a promise it failed to act upon. 

Amid rising violence and cases of targeted assassinations in the country, the new Biden administration announced the review of the 2020 deal, prompting suspense over the withdrawal of all foreign troops by May 2021- a deadline set by the 2020 Doha deal. 

NATO Secretary-General Janes Stoltenberg also asked the Taliban to reduce violence, and engage in a meaningful dialogue with the Afghan government in Doha. So far, the four months of the intra-Afghan talks between the warring Afghan parties failed to produce any significant outcomes to end the conflict. 

For the Afghan government, the issue of a ceasefire remained a top priority in this round.

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