Doha talks need patience, not mediators: Taliban

The Taliban has said that it does not feel the need for a mediator for the Afghan peace negotiations, adding that resolving a 40-year conflict requires patience instead, the media reported.

The statement on Thursday by Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem came as US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Doha, where the talks are taking place, to “meet with partners on Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace negotiations”, TOLO News reported.

In a statement, Naeem said that the Afghan conflict requires important, ongoing discussions, and stated that both sides of the negotiations should demonstrate patience for a positive outcome.

“If we hurry and expect to resolve all the issues in 20 days or a month, I think this will not bring us to our objectives.

“We will not allow anyone to interfere in our internal affairs,” the spokesman added.

Contact groups comprising Taliban and Afghan government delegates have failed to fully agree on the procedural rules.

This delay has prolonged the time before an official face-to-face talk between both negotiation teams is possible.

Meanwhile, Khalilzad’s trip to Doha has also sparked mixed reactions in Kabul, said the TOLO News report.

“I see this stalemate as a bit artificial because we witnessed a controversy over the release of prisoners, but it was resolved on the 11th of September, now I think the solution to this issue has been scheduled for a certain date,” said Abdul Karim Khurram, former chief of staff to former President Hamid Karzai.

“This indicates that we, the people of Afghanistan, can’t reach an agreement without foreign pressure,” said Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, the first deputy of the Meshrano Jirga (Senate).

But critics have suggested that a mediator might be needed in the negotiations, as the contact groups of both sides of the Afghan peace talks have discussed the rules many times over the last 20 days but have not reached an agreement.

The procedural rules for the negotiations have over 20 articles. The two sides have agreed on 18 of them.

According to negotiators from both sides, two articles are still disputed: the foundational religious jurisprudence for the talks, and the recognition of February’s US-Taliban deal as the overarching authority to which these Afghan peace negotiations are subject.

The last time the contact groups of both sides of the peace negotiations met was Monday evening.

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