Amid reports that the US and the Taliban were closer to a potential peace agreement, the office of Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has confirmed that the government in Kabul was still yet to form a team for intra-Afghan talks, according to the reports.
On Wednesday, Mujiburrahman Rahimi, a spokesman for Abdullah said, while referring to the government’s peace negotiating team, “Unfortunately, until now there is no political consensus among those in the camp of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Definitely, progress in the talks involves these issues”, TOLO News reported.
Rahimi’s statement comes as US President Donald Trump “conditionally approved” a peace deal with the Taliban that may lead to the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan as long as the militant group can commit to a reduction in violence.
According to the Fawzia Kofi, a former MP, the politicians, the Afghan political society, still has an opportunity to get together and build a consensus on the peace process, with the reconciliation council and including some important topics that are among the red lines or the values of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan”.
On January 26, Afghan prominent political figures had gathered in Kabul to discuss the participation of all the country’s political factions in the ongoing peace process.
Last year, in September, Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation had said that the US and Taliban are “at the threshold of an agreement” that would reduce violence and open the door for Afghans to sit together and negotiate.
On December 19, Khalilzad also said that the US and Taliban were approaching an important stage in the Afghan peace process.
In August, peace talks between Washington and the Taliban had to reach a deal on the withdrawal of thousands of American troops collapsed after President Trump cited an attack that killed a US soldier as his reason for pulling out of negotiations. The talks did not include the Afghan government.
The Taliban had never agreed to end their violent campaign against Afghan and foreign forces while negotiations were taking place. Sixteen US troops have been killed this year.
In 2001, US-led forces overthrew the Taliban government in Afghanistan because the militants had given safe haven to the Al-Qaeda network to plan the attacks on the US on September 11.