More than two months after the Afghan peace negotiations began, the parties to the conflict have made important first progress, according to the Taliban.
Taliban spokesman Mohammed Naeem announced on Saturday that negotiators from the militant Islamist group and the Afghan government had clarified key procedural issues for the negotiations in Qatar. Kabul’s negotiators initially did not comment.
According to the Taliban, both sides of the conflict agreed on 21 principles for the actual substantive negotiations. The Taliban officials said the agreement was handed out on November 15 in the Qatari capital Doha.
Qatar should mediate
The representatives of the Afghan Republic have been talking to the Taliban about peace since September 12th.
The process had stalled several times in the dispute over the procedural issues. The Taliban continue to reject a ceasefire. The host country Qatar had taken on the role of mediator.
The government recently denied reports from the Afghan broadcaster Tolonews about a breakthrough in the negotiations. Government spokesman Sedik Sedikki said on November 24th that some of the Taliban’s demands were incompatible with the constitution. Sedikki didn’t give any details. But it will certainly not be easy negotiations.
Meanwhile, the conflict in the country continues brutally.
Bundeswehr withdraws, support should remain
Germany recently reduced its troops in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. The around 100 German soldiers stationed there so far would no longer be permanently on site in the camp in Kunduz, but only flown in from the large base in Mazar-i-Sharif if necessary, said a spokesman for the operational command
The peace negotiations with the Taliban are supported by Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas: “The opportunity must not be missed.” He also confirmed in a tweet that Germany will continue to provide civil aid in 2021.