Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrived Monday in Doha on an official visit to the State of Qatar, coinciding with the negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, while civilians were killed in a suicide attack targeting the governor of Laghman Province.
This is the first official visit of the Afghan President after the start of the Afghan peace negotiations hosted by Doha since the 12th of last month, with the aim of reaching a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire and a political settlement to end the conflict in Afghanistan.
Earlier, Afghan officials said that Ghani will visit Qatar after a stop in Kuwait to mourn the death of the late Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and then he will hold meetings in Doha to discuss efforts to consolidate Afghan-Qatari relations and mutual cooperation in various fields.
Officials indicated that Ghani will also meet representatives of his government who are holding talks with the Taliban, but he will not hold a meeting with Taliban officials.
“It is clear that Ghani will not meet with Taliban officials because the pace of violence has not subsided, and the movement continues to kill innocent civilians,” a senior Western diplomat familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Dozens of Afghan soldiers and Taliban fighters have been killed in clashes, and suicide attacks have left dozens of civilians dead over the past weeks.
In the latest development of violence, the government of Laghman Province in the east of the country said that a suicide bomber stormed the convoy of the state governor, Rahmatullah Yarmal, killing 4 of his bodyguards and 4 civilians and wounding 28 people, most of them civilians.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.