An Afghan official stated on Tuesday that a high-level Afghan government delegation, which will include the head of the country’s reconciliation council, would meet with the Taliban in Doha. Stalling for a long time, the peace talks are expected to be revived through the prospective meeting amid a situation that the Taliban has intensified its attacks to seize land in the war-torn country.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity due to not being authorized to inform reporters, the Afghan official also stated that senior Taliban leaders are also expected to be present in the Taliban delegation. The official also added that the meeting would possibly be held on Friday.
It was indicated that senior government official Abdullah Abdullah, who heads Afghanistan’s reconciliation council, would lead the talks held in Doha. Hamid Karzai, the former Afghan president, is also expected to be among the delegates.
Reiterating his calls on the Afghan government not to miss the opportunity and press ahead toward peace, Karzai also expressed his wish to see a woman as Afghan president one day. He also called women to stay in their jobs and maintain their education. He said, “This country has everything, youths, educated people, and I call on the young generation to not leave your country, stay here… You must trust in your country; peace will come.”
The Afghan official’s remarks came following the visit of Qatar’s Foreign Ministry Special Representative for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution, Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani, to Afghanistan, which took place last week. During the Qatari envoy’s visit to Afghanistan, he reportedly came together with several Afghan diplomats to discuss the political and security situation in the country as well as an escalation of violence by the Taliban.
Recently, the Taliban has seized control of several strategic districts bordering Iran, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Although the exact number of districts that the Taliban controls is unknown, it is estimated that the group dominates more than a third of Afghanistan’s 421 districts and district centers. As a result of ongoing Taliban attacks, it was reported that more than 1,000 Afghan soldiers fled to Tajikistan.
Last week, the two sides came together in Iran. According to the statement issued following the meeting, the Afghan government and the Taliban reached an agreement that “war is not the solution to the problems in Afghanistan,” and “all efforts must be directed toward achieving a peaceful political solution.”