First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said there will be no compromise on the title, the context and the type of a future government in Afghanistan in the peace negotiations with the Taliban as he addressed an event in Kabul on Monday.
Saleh said that a senior US official has assured him that the US the Taliban and their supporters will harm if the group violates ethical and political framework in the intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha.
“I had a conversation with Senior Director for South and Central Asia at the US National Security Council Lisa Curtis. She assured that Doha has opened an ethical and political way to solve the crisis. If they want to violate the framework, it will harm them and their supporters,” Saleh said, narrating his conversation with Ms. Curtis.
The Taliban in an article titled “the peace spoiler group at the Presidential Palace” published on their website with a photo of Saleh hugging President Ghani during 2019 presidential election. The article reads that the “spoiler group” at the Palace is led by First Vice President Amrullah Saleh. But the Presidential Palace said the steps taken by the Palace show its willingness and interest for peace.
“We released over 5,000 Taliban prisoners and now the Taliban should show to the Afghan people and the world that they want peace and they want to stop killing the people of Afghanistan,” a presidential spokesman Dawa Khan Minapal said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General António Guterres has said that supporting the Afghan peace process is part of the responsibility of the UN.
“My first priority is the implementation of the global ceasefire and there are some positive signals. We the peace agreement in Sudan and we have now the political talks in Afghanistan,” Guterres said.
The contact groups of the negotiating teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban held their second meeting on Monday and discussed the framework of direct peace negotiations. The negotiating teams held a meeting on Teusday but could not agree on the framework of the negotiations.
Meanwhile, Suhail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban’s negotiating team, said on Tuesday that a ceasefire will not be possible unless there is a decision on the future government in Afghanistan.
“We want these issues to be solved soon. We want a ceasefire. It is in the (US-Taliban) agreement. All Afghans want it, but if it is in a way that we don’t talk on it (future government) and we agree on a ceasefire while their administration (Afghan government) is there. This is not a reality,” Shaheen said.
“The contact group will finalize all topics under discussion and will share it with a meeting between the two negotiating teams,” said Fawzia Koofi, a negotiator of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
This comes as the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said Washington is looking to completely withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by spring 2021. Pompeo said the unmilitary is on pace to uphold a February 29 agreement with the Taliban that aims to reduce American troops in the country to zero by April or May of 2021, according to interviews with Breitbart News. Pompeo however clarified that a complete drawdown is conditioned to Taliban’s complete termination of ties with the terror groups.