A senior Afghan government delegation and Taliban representatives have met in Doha to negotiate bets as violence escalates on the ground in Afghanistan.
The two sides have been meeting for months in the Qatari capital, but talks have lost strength as a series of gains by the armed group on the battlefield have coincided with foreign forces ending their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The government delegation is made up of several senior officials, including former executive Abdullah Abdullah. Its informed aim is to support the government negotiating team in terms of accelerating the stalled talks.
“During his visit, Abdullah Abdullah will discuss important and crucial issues with Taliban representatives,” Afghan government delegation spokesman Fraidoon Kwazoon told Al Jazeera.
“The solution to the conflict in Afghanistan lies in the negotiations and peace can be reached through dialogue,” he said.
For his part, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said the group “has repeatedly confirmed its willingness to dialogue and negotiations,” adding that the problems “can only be resolved through dialogue.”
“But the Afghan government must also show the same commitment,” Naeem said.
“They have to show the right and sincere determination when negotiating to end these problems.”
No “tangible progress”
Osama Bin Javaid, of Al Jazeera, reported the location of the negotiations in Doha, saying the last round of talks was one more effort to try to bring the two sides together.
“Both sides say dialogue is the only way forward and believe that a solution for a peaceful Afghanistan can only come off the table, but actions on the ground speak a very different language,” he said.
“There seems to be no real progress or tangible progress. The Afghan side insists there must be a ceasefire before there can be real dialogue and the Taliban insist they want their version of sharia, they want a government that is comprehensive and includes all parts of Afghanistan. “, he said.
Bin Javaid said special representatives from Europe, the United States and the United Nations were also present at the talks “to try to see if they can push for some kind of peace in Afghanistan” after months of disagreements. important.
“There’s not much hope that there’s a concrete solution coming out of this meeting, but at least it’s something to move forward,” he said.
The Taliban have taken advantage of the final stages of the withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign troops from Afghanistan to launch a series of lightning offensives across the country.
Afghan forces clashed with Taliban fighters in Spin Boldak on Friday after launching an operation to retake the key crossing of the southern border with Pakistan.
The route is one of the main trade and travel routes between Afghanistan and Pakistan and is a major source of revenue for the Western-backed government of Kabul.
The battle on the southern border continues for weeks to intensify fighting across Afghanistan, with the Taliban pushing for multiple offensives and overcoming dozens of districts at an astonishing rate.
The group has captured border crossings with Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in recent weeks, while also tightening control in the north.
Charlotte Bellis, of Al Jazeera, a Kabul informant, said the armed group now controls more than 50 percent of the country and that its prey is “getting closer and closer” to the capital.
As fighting spread across large parts of Afghanistan, a war of words between Kabul and Islamabad was also heating up after the Afghan vice president accused the Pakistani military of providing “close air support to the Taliban in certain areas.” .
Pakistan strongly denied the claim, with a statement from the Foreign Ministry stating that the country was “taking the necessary measures in its territory to safeguard our own troops and our population.”
Islamabad had announced a conference of regional leaders to address spiraling violence.
Instead, he announced that he would delay the summit until after the upcoming Muslim holiday in Eid al-Adha, paving the way for the Doha rally.
Afghanistan’s southern border has long been a hotbed in relations with its eastern neighbor.
Foreign troops have been in Afghanistan for nearly 20 years after the U.S.-led invasion, which began after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
They have appeared almost out of the picture in recent months, but fears are growing that Afghan forces will be overwhelmed without the vital air support they provide.
The speed and scale of the Taliban attack has taken many by surprise, according to analysts who appear aimed at forcing the government to negotiate the group’s terms or suffer a complete military defeat.
Russia’s foreign minister said Friday that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan had “failed.”