The insurgents want the event to be short, the agenda should not include decision-making on key matters and the Taliban team should be low level.
VoA quoted a senior Taliban leader as saying: “Our leadership has proposed the Istanbul meeting should not be longer than three days.”
He said the militant movement’s leaders basically opposed participation in the Turkey meeting. However, they will attend the event conditionally on requests from Pakistan and Qatar.
Familiar with internal consultations, the Taliban source declined going into details as to who would represent the rebel group.
But Nader Nadery, speaking on behalf of government’s peace negotiating delegation, said he was unaware of Taliban’s terms. “Nothing officially shared with us yet.”
The US, Turkey and Afghanistan want at least one or more senior Taliban leaders other than the negotiation team members to head the Taliban delegation in Istanbul.
The three countries believe Taliban’s Qatar office representatives, including Mullah Baradar, do not have decision-making power.
The Taliban source said their senior leaders opposed Istanbul as a decision-making platform. The rebels are also against a specific agenda for the conference.
In response to a query, he said the militant outfit would not declare a ceasefire with the Kabul government at the moment.
Initially, the US proposed the 10-day meeting to help the warring parties resolve their differences and arrive at critical decisions.