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General meet between contact groups from Afghan government, Taliban held


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Kabul [Afghanistan], October 15 (ANI): A general meeting of chiefs and delegates — from both the Afghanistan government as well as the Taliban — was held on Wednesday, said a delegate from the Islamic Republic’s side.
According to Tolo News, the issue of resolving disputed issues were discussed and it was emphasised that both contact groups must provide solutions to the disputed issues “as soon as possible”.
The spokesperson of the Taliban confirmed that a general meeting was held with both teams tonight and added that the contested points were discussed and the contact groups were asked to resolve disputes as soon as possible. The agenda will be discussed next, he said.
Contact groups from both sides resumed negotiation meetings on Monday after two weeks of no talks in an attempt to seek approval for the procedural rules for the formal talks but this meeting also ended without an outcome, Tolo News reported further. Sources say that one of the suggestions was to remove the “controversial procedural rules” and discuss them in the next phase of the talks.
“We need to accelerate the negotiation process in view of the plight of the Afghan people, every day the people are sacrificed,” said Fawzia Koofi, a member of the republic’s negotiating team, as quoted by Tolo News.
A source from Qatar said that one of the suggestions was to add the US Security Council Resolution to the talks along with the US-Taliban deal to be a part of the framework of the negotiations as well.
The Taliban has not said anything about the alternatives of the United Nations Security Council’s resolution but the Taliban insisted that the intra-Afghan talks would have no meaning if the US-Taliban peace deal as the main agreement is not considered.
“If there is no foundation, moving forward without it will not make sense,” said Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban, as quoted by Tolo News.
The two sides have agreed upon 18 out of the 20 procedural rules. However, two main articles, which are based on a religious basis for the talks and connection of the US-Taliban deal with the negotiations, are currently unresolved.
Tolo News further reported that the Taliban insisted that in case a dispute emerges during the negotiations, the solution must be sought using the Hanafi jurisprudence and the foundation of the talks must be based on the deal the Taliban signed with the US in February. However, the Afghan government’s team rejected the demands and gave alternate suggestions.
The peace negotiations that began between the two parties on September 12, but the direct talks have not begun due to the disagreements on procedural rules for the negotiations.
More suggestions were put to the table to overcome the rift between both parties.
The Doha talks — with the hope of ending the war in Afghanistan — commenced on September 12 and so far the contact groups from both sides have held eight meetings to discuss procedural rules. (ANI)

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