The Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced today, Thursday, that Doha will host the Afghan peace negotiations, which will start next Saturday, in turn, the United States welcomed the move, and US President Donald Trump said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will leave for Doha to participate in the Afghan peace negotiations.
The Qatar News Agency quoted the ministry as saying that these direct negotiations between the various spectrums of the Afghan people are a serious and important step towards the establishment of sustainable peace in Afghanistan.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces that Doha will host the Afghan peace negotiations, which will start on Saturday, September 12, and said that "these direct negotiations between the various factions of the Afghan people are a serious and important step towards establishing sustainable peace in Afghanistan."
- Qatar News Agency (@QatarNewsAgency) September 10, 2020
The Afghan presidency said, "The government has completed all necessary preparations to achieve peace, and its team is preparing to travel to the Qatari capital tomorrow, Friday."
For its part, the Taliban movement expressed its readiness to start peace talks on Saturday with the Afghan government, after it was postponed for about 6 months.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the imminent start of the Afghan negotiations, calling on the parties to not "waste" this "historic opportunity" to put an end to the conflicts in Afghanistan.
"I urge the negotiators to show the pragmatism, restraint and flexibility necessary for this path to be crowned with success," Pompeo said in a statement, stressing that the Afghan-led political track is the only way for the parties to achieve lasting peace.
Pompeo reiterated the commitment of the Afghan government and the Taliban not to allow "terrorists" to use Afghan soil again to threaten the United States or its allies.
Pompeo called on Afghans not to waste the opportunity and put an end to the conflict in their country (European News Agency)
prisoner file has ended
. Government sources and a diplomatic source said that the Afghan government’s negotiating team is planning to travel to Doha on Friday, as well as the head of the Peace Council, Abdullah Abdullah. The talks are expected to start early next week after months of delay.
A government source told Reuters that opening ceremonies will be held on Saturday, to be followed by technical discussions related to the talks' agenda.
Two government sources told Reuters that 6 prisoners who were demanded by the Taliban for their release left the Afghan capital, Kabul, on a trip to Doha on Thursday evening, paving the way for the start of the long-awaited peace talks.
The prisoners, who are accused of launching attacks on Afghan forces from within their ranks and who have been opposed by Western powers including France and Australia, will remain under surveillance in the Qatari capital, where peace talks brokered by the United States will be held.
"The six prisoners will remain in Qatar until the end of November, and they can then be transferred to Kabul," one of the sources told Reuters.
On August 10, the US special representative for reconciliation in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said that the Afghan negotiating team would travel to Doha, to immediately start negotiations between the Afghans.
In the same month, the Afghan capital, Kabul, witnessed expanded talks on peace with the Taliban, during a large gathering of the Afghan tribal representatives' council.
On February 29, the Qatari capital, Doha, witnessed an agreement between the United States and the Taliban that paves the way, according to a timetable, for a gradual US withdrawal from Afghanistan and a prisoner exchange.
The agreement provided for the release of about 5,000 Taliban prisoners, in exchange for about 1,000 prisoners from the Afghan government.
Afghanistan has been witnessing a war since October 2001, when an international military coalition overthrew the Taliban rule, due to its association at the time with Al Qaeda, which adopted the September 11 attacks of the same year, in the United States.