Afghan peace talk negotiators hold first direct session in Doha

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan and Taliban peace talk negotiators held their first direct session on Tuesday in Doha, their spokesmen said, as the warring sides try to work out an agenda and schedule for how to negotiate a peace deal as the United States withdraws troops.

Reuters September 16, 2020 00:12:03 IST
Afghan peace talk negotiators hold first direct session in Doha

Afghan peace talk negotiators hold first direct session in Doha

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan and Taliban peace talk negotiators held their first direct session on Tuesday in Doha, their spokesmen said, as the warring sides try to work out an agenda and schedule for how to negotiate a peace deal as the United States withdraws troops.

"The meeting of both negotiating teams with full members took place today at 4:30 p.m.," senior Afghan government negotiator Nader Nadery and Taliban spokesman Muhammad Naeem both said in identical statements on Twitter.

"Heads of delegations reiterated the need for patience and tolerance as we move forward in this path," the statement added.

A small group of negotiators from both sides had met in previous days to try to discuss how the substantive negotiations would take place.

Negotiators had agreed to rules and procedures, according to the statement, without specifying what they were, but some issues were still outstanding. It was not clear whether the sides had agreed to an agenda of what issues needed to be covered and in what order.

An Afghan presidential palace official said a top priority was getting the Taliban to agree on a ceasefire or significant reduction in violence.

Violence has continued in the country even after the launch of historic peace talks at an opening ceremony in Doha on Saturday.

Talks between the two sides were to begin shortly after a U.S.-Taliban agreement in February, but started only after months of delays, caused in part by continuing Taliban offensives in the war-torn country as well as disagreement over the release of prisoners.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made ending the war in Afghanistan a key election promise and the United States is set to withdraw all its troops by May 2021, subject to the Taliban meeting certain security guarantees.

(Reporting by Hamid Shalizi and Abdul Qadir Sediqi; Additional reporting by Nayera Abdallah and Orooj Hakimi; Writing by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Sandra Maler, Michael Perry and Jonathan Oatis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.