Hope remains as Afghan-Taliban peace talks continue to face hurdles
Qatar and Afghanistan have agreed to establish a high-level commission to improve relations between the two countries that would assist in achieving peace, said Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Mohamed Haneef Atmar at a Doha-Afghan press conference on Tuesday.
“Good consensus reached between leaders from both the countries on next steps on how to deal with challenges and obstacles in the way to achieve peace and for success of peace negotiations,” the Afghan official said at the event.
During the event, Atmar said meetings between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and senior Qatari officials, including the Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al thani, were key in the ongoing peace talks.
He called for further cooperation between Doha and his country while strengthening ties in order to achieve peace in Afghanistan.
“The government of Afghanistan appreciates this role and we will like to continue our cooperation with the government of Qatar to achieve our shared goal of peace and stability,” said Atmar.
“We believe that by working with our partners [Doha and US] we have a better chance to succeed in the peace process,” he said.
He added that the Afghan government is seeking to achieve three essential objectives in order to pursue the stalled peace talks in Doha, the first of which being the removal of all obstacles in the way of achieving peace between the warring factions.
The second objective is reduction of violence and implementing a complete ceasefire, the Afghan official said.
“It is necessary to establish a special mechanism to monitor the level of violence, and the two sides have to take effective measures to address the reasons behind the violence,” said Atmar.
As for the third objective, Atmar said that it requires the Afghan government to ensure that the peace negotiations lead to an agreement and a final ceasefire.
Atmar’s statements came following Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Qatar on Monday.
Ghani’s trip to Doha coincided with the Afghan Peace Talks, which have been hosted in the Qatari capital since September 12. So far, the negotiations have remained at stalemate with a number of issues, including details of a ceasefire and the type of governance that will shape Afghanistan, yet to be finalised.
Despite the hiccups, last month saw the signing of what was described as ‘historic’ peace talks between the warring factions.
The talks followed a United States-Taliban agreement signed in February in Doha.
“The role played by the Government of Qatar has proved very fruitful so far, and will further the peace process,” said Atmar.