Taliban-US negotiators made no progress in Qatar


The Taliban and the US negotiators could not make progress in talks in Qatar and decided on Thursday to take a break for few days.Both sides resumed negotiations on Saturday nearly three months after U.S. President Donald Trump called off talks with the Taliban in Qatar, citing a Taliban-claimed suicide bombing, which had killed an American soldier and 11 other people in September.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said that a delegation of the Taliban led by Mullah Baradar and the US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met on Thursday.

“Atmosphere of the negotiation was cordial and positive and both sides agreed to resume talks after a break of few days,” Shaheen said.

The US side called for reduction of violence and ceasefire by the Taliban while the Taliban insisted the US should first sign the peace agreement.

The sources said the US side also pressed for intra-Afghan talks, but the Taliban want the process should start after signing of the agreement.

Both sides had finalized the agreement in August at the conclusion of 9th round of talks. Meanwhile Pakistan on Thursday cautioned against “the role of spoilers” to harm the Afghan peace process.

“We will continue to support all peaceful efforts in this regard, as we have done in the past. However, at this critical time, it is important to remain watchful of the role of spoilers who do not wish to see an end to the Afghan conflict,” the foreign ministry spokesman said at his weekly briefing.

He said Pakistan has welcomed the resumption of direct talks between the U.S. and Taliban.

“We have always held that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. We hope that the Peace Process is concluded soon and it leads to an intra-Afghan dialogue and reduction of violence,” Faisal said.

He said Pakistan’s policy regarding Afghanistan is clear and Prime Minister Imran Khan has reiterated it several times, that there can only be a political solution to the Afghan conflict. “It is heartening to note that all the global powers are now coming to this conclusion as well,” the spokesman said.

He said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who led the Pakistan delegation to the 8th Ministerial Conference Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process, in Istanbul on Monday underscored the need for achieving the goal of a secure and stable Afghanistan for the economic progress and prosperity of the entire region.

Qureshi highlighted the importance of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) as an important institutional framework in strengthening bilateral relations between the two sides, according to the spokesman.

Faisal condemned the murder of Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamora in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province last week and said Nakamura was a towering figure in Afghanistan, who changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Afghans.

“We condemn in strongest terms the assassination and share the grief and pain of the Afghan and Japanese people in this tragic incident,” he said.

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