KABUL, Afghanistan – The Taliban’s political office said a number of its detainees have not yet been released, which slows down the preparation for intra-Afghan talks to take place in Qatari capital Doha.
Mohammad Naeem Wardak, a spokesman for Taliban’s political office, said in a tweet once the process of freeing its prisoners are done, they will be ready to sit with Afghans and negotiate on peace in the country.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Palace announced preparations for the intra-Afghan negotiations are being finalized and the delay is due to Taliban’s unpreparedness for the talks.
Sources said the delay is due to issues within the leadership of the Taliban’s negotiating team, adding demands are being made on both sides.
Recently, the Taliban announced a 21-member negotiating team led by the group’s chief justice, Mawlawi Abdul Hakim, with former chief negotiator Abbas Stanekzai now serving as deputy.
“Technical issues and preparations are almost complete. We hope that the Taliban also finishes their preparations so that our delegation can travel (to Doha),” said Sediq Sediqqi, presidential spokesman, as quoted by local media.
“We have no problems. Everyone is ready for the trip,” said Abdul Hafiz Mansoor, a member of the government negotiating team. “We have been waiting for the flight for the past few days, but we are told repeatedly that the Taliban’s delegation in Qatar is not ready.”