Afghans Hope Doha Conference Foments Govt-Taliban Talks

A 60-member delegation of Afghan politicians, civil society members and activists who attended a two intra-Afghan dialogue conference on peace in Doha with 17 members of the Taliban, have expressed hope that the event will facilitate concrete steps towards holding direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. 

“It was a successful conference,” said Habiba Sarabi, a participant of the conference.

“Many differences were made clear in the two days [of the meeting], meanwhile, common points were recognized. These common points will provide the ground for more trust and [direct] talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban for ending the war,” said Nader Nadery, a participant of the meeting.

Germany’s special envoy for Afghanistan Markus Potzel said at the closing ceremony of the conference that the resolution issued after the two-day intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha was beyond his expectations and was unprecedented in the recent past.

“My expectations weren’t very high, but I just learned that you agreed on a joint statement as an outcome document of this dialogue conference. I hope this is the starting point for comprehensive and meaningful peace process. I would like to encourage all participants to meet again in this format. As soon as possible these talks should produce results, results in the interest of Afghan people, results for the good of Afghan people,” said Potzel.

The Special Envoy of Qatar for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution, Mutlaq bin Majid Al Qahtani, said the intra-Afghan dialogue conference was the first step towards creating understanding between the warring parties.

“This is the first step towards creating an understanding between the opposition parties. But we all need this process to continue. We hope that this event emerges as a practical step towards nationwide and sustainable peace in Afghanistan,” he said.

The ceasefire which has been the crucial aspiration of the Afghans, in general, was not mentioned in the eight-article resolution of the Doha delegates.

The resolution has also not mentioned the issue of the presence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan. The conference was co-hosted by Germany and Qatar where the Taliban keeps a political office.

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