• publish: 6 October 2020
  • time: 8:24 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 15633
Afghan peace talks team:

Breakthrough in peace talks are not true

Reports emerged Tuesday afternoon that the Taliban and Afghan peace negotiators had agreed on a code of conduct to safeguard against the risk of any breakdown in talks that began last month in Doha, but the Afghan team rejected the claims and said no agreement had yet been reached.

Reuters reported earlier that three official sources told the news agency on Tuesday that the breakthrough had been achieved with the help of US officials.

According to them, 19 ground rules had been drawn up that need to be observed by both teams during talks. 

But soon after the news broke, the Afghanistan Republic issued a post on its official peace negotiations Twitter page and denied this to be true.

“The news that Reuters News Agency has published about the finalization of the Code of Conduct of the peace negotiation is not true,” read their Tweet.

Reuters had however said the three sources stated the delegations were putting their differences to one side to move forward and agree on an agenda but would work on resolving these issues during negotiations.

One senior Western diplomat told Reuters, on condition of anonymity, that “firming up code of conduct was extremely crucial as it proves that both sides are willing to continue talks even as we see that violence has not reduced on the ground.”

A second diplomat told Reuters “the ground rules will serve as a foundation as both sides are making an effort to prevent a collapse [in talks].”

No further details were given but it is widely believed that there has been two sticking points between the Afghanistan Republic’s team and the Taliban, which were Hanafi jurisprudence as the legal foundation of talks and secondly the Afghan team’s reluctance to base talks on the framework of the US-Taliban deal brokered in February. 

This reported breakthrough comes while Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is on an official visit to Qatar and has so far met with the Afghan negotiating team and with the United States’ Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad. 

Ghani’s visit to Doha is at the invitation of the Qatar government and officials have said it is not directly linked to the intra-Afghan negotiations currently underway. 

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