DOHA, Qatar – Members of the Afghan “contact group” said the scheduled first round of intra-Afghan negotiations on Monday were delayed due to controversies on talks’ agenda and terms, according to sources, pushing the country’s expectations further away.
Both the Afghan and the Taliban “contact group” have to decide on an agenda, the code of conduct and a due date for the first round of the intra-Afghan talks.
While sources suggested the groups have held two meeting by far: one Sunday evening and other on Monday morning, Afghan negotiator Habiba Sarabi said only one meeting held, adding “we should not expect decisions on everything in a short time.”
The second meeting of the “contact group” is scheduled Monday evening, she clarified.
“The agenda comes later (in discussions). First, we should decide on the principles of the negotiations,” said Matin Bek, a negotiator from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as quoted by TOLOnews. “Other topics might take time, but we have made good progress jointly.”
The delay came a day after sources said both side of the negotiations formed the “contact group” at a meeting held behind closed door on Saturday, after the opening of Intra-Afghan talks.
Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, Nader Nadery, Zarar Ahmad Muqbil, Fawzia Koofi, Enayatullah Baligh, Mohammad Natiqi and Khalid Noor are the seven members of the contact group, representing Afghanistan.
While, the Taliban’s contact group members are Mawlawi Abdul Kabir, Abbas Stanekzai, Noorullah Noori, Shaikh Delawar and Shaikh Qasim.
On Saturday, the opening session of Intra-Afghan talks were held in Qatari capital Doha, where the Afghan and the Taliban delegation team, including international allies, came together to start the long-waited peace negations that will end the roughly two decades of war in Afghanistan.