News ID: 90200
Publish Date : 15 May 2021 - 21:09
DOHA (Dispatches) – Negotiators from the Taliban and Afghanistan’s government have met in Qatar, according to the warring sides, after a long pause in talks between the two.
The development came on Friday, the second day of a three-day ceasefire announced by the Taliban for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
They began negotiations in September last year to find a way to end decades of war. But the talks stalled after a few rounds and violence has escalated since the United States started a final pullout of troops from Afghanistan on May 1.
"The two sides discussed the on-going situation of the country and emphasized speeding up the peace talks in Doha,” the negotiating team representing the Afghan government said on Twitter.
The spokesman for the Taliban’s political office, Mohammad Naeem, posted a similar message on Twitter, and added that both sides had agreed to continue talks after the Eid holidays.
On Thursday, the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire for Eid-al Fitr — the Muslim holiday — which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Finding common ground between the two warring sides has been a top priority.
The violence escalated after the U.S. missed a May 1 deadline and announced it will withdraw troops by September to end its 20-year occupation in Afghanistan.
The Taliban refused to attend a Washington-backed conference in Turkey’s Istanbul last month that was being held in a bid to speed up talks. The event was later indefinitely postponed.
Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada said in a message on Thursday that the U.S. has so far violated the agreement reached between the group and Washington in Doha last year. Under the deal, Washington pledged to withdraw its forces.
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