By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: President Ghani and Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani, currently the Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar for Counterterrorism and Mediation of Conflict Resolution, have agreed to hold intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha, capital of Qatar during a meeting held last week.
Qahtani visited Kabul and met with President Ghani and other Afghan leaders and discussed the Afghan peace process.
During his visit, Qahtani also met with the Taliban delegation in Kabul.
Qahtani told Qatar TV that following the meeting the Taliban released Afghan government prisoners and “more prisoners will be released in upcoming days.”
The Qatari envoy hopes that the release of prisoners will be completed this week so the intra-Afghan negotiations begins soon.
A Presidential Palace official said that the government of Afghanistan has accepted that the preliminary intra-Afghan negotiations be held in Qatar, but “so far there has been no agreement over holding the main intra-Afghan talks in Qatar.”
In a virtual interview given for the Atlantic Council on Thursday, President Ghani laid out his vision for peace in Afghanistan and highlighted the importance of a ceasefire and a reduction in violence to kickstart the intra-Afghan talks.
However, president Ghani rejected the possibility of the formation of an interim government in Afghanistan as a result of a potential peace deal with the Taliban.
President Ghani said that he will not repeat the historic mistake committed by the former president Dr. Najibullah.
“Dr. Najibullah made the mistake of his life by announcing that he was going to resign…Please don’t ask us to replay a film that we know where it ends.” President Ghani said.
“I think now we are on course and next week we should be able to inform the world of the next steps,” he told Atlantic Council’s Stephen Hadley as they discussed intra-Afghan negotiations.
“The United States and Afghanistan are completely aligned. getting to peace is my absolute priority,” said president Ghani.
Previously, sources said that the intra-Afghan talks will be convened in Doha once the release of the 5,000 Taliban prisoners has been concluded.
Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in a tweet said “the Afghan government has only agreed for a first meeting to take place in Doha” and that “there has not been any agreement yet on the venue of the direct talks.”