• publish: 14 September 2020
  • time: 12:30 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 15328

Contact group meets over agenda, Abdullah returned to Kabul

Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah returned to Kabul on Sunday night after a two-day trip to Qatar for the opening of intra-Afghan talks.

After landing back in Kabul, Abdullah said: “I wish the negotiation teams all the best in their endeavor to achieve lasting peace in our country.”

Before leaving Qatar, Abdullah met with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of Qatar.

After his meeting with the emir, Abdullah tweeted: “I expressed Afghanistan’s heartfelt appreciation for his relentless efforts towards peace talks and for Qatar’s generosity and hospitality. Inshallah, we will succeed together.”

As Abdullah flew home, the contact groups from the Afghan government and Taliban held their first meeting, behind closed doors, to discuss the framework around the talks going forward, including the agenda. 

Following the meeting, Afghanistan’s chief negotiator Masoom Stanekzai said there had been a positive spirit among the team members and that no “effort to drive the negotiations towards controversial discussions” had been made. 

Nader Naderi, a member of the government’s negotiating team meanwhile said late Sunday that “in this meeting, code of conduct between two sides, schedules of upcoming meetings and relevant issues were discussed and progress was made.” 

The contact group members – picked on Saturday are: 

Afghanistan – Masoom Stanekzai, Nader Naderi, Zarar Ahmad Muqbel, Fawzia Koofi, Enayatullah Baligh, Mohammad Nateqi and Khalid Noor. 

Taliban – Abbas Stanekzai, Mawlawi Shahabuddin Delawar, Mullah Noorullah Noori, Mawlawi Abdul Karim and Sheikh Qasim Turkman.

Meanwhile, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is also expected to leave Doha on Monday for Pakistan where he will meet with top political and military officials.

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