Former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef: The movement is not responsible for the violence that is taking place in Afghanistan, and these actions are a major conspiracy behind which an intelligence agency is using these methods to implicate the United States in our country.
The Afghan government delegation called for the Doha negotiations to stop the bloodshed and find a comprehensive settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan, while the Taliban stressed the implementation of the peace agreement that sets a time frame for the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera today, Tuesday, the head of the government negotiating delegation, Masum Stankzai, said that Monday’s meeting with the Taliban delegation in Doha confirmed the commitment of the two parties to negotiations.
Stankzai added that the government side does not want formal negotiations, and that its goal is to stop the bloodshed.
He added that a final exit must be found to violence and a comprehensive settlement, noting that the solution must be based on the political will of both parties.
The head of the Afghan government delegation also told Al-Jazeera that ending violence and the success of negotiations with the Taliban depend on building confidence between the two sides.
The spokesman for the Taliban’s political office, Muhammad Naeem, said that the two delegations of the movement and the Afghan government emphasized during the meeting that took place on Monday in the Qatari capital the need to continue the peace negotiations.
Naim added in a tweet on Twitter that the relevant committees were tasked with setting the agenda.
It is noteworthy that the peace negotiations between the two sides began last September in Doha, but then faced great difficulties due to the disagreement between the two parties over priorities, and the escalation of violence on the ground.
Postponement of withdrawal
While an opportunity loomed for the resumption of negotiations between the government and the Taliban, the movement declared its firm rejection of any possible delay in the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.
The movement’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said in an interview with the German news agency that NATO, the United States and the concerned parties have concluded that the only good solution to overcome the crisis is to implement the Doha Agreement that was signed a year ago.
The Taliban spokesman added that if the diplomatic track is closed, there is no other way but to war.
The former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, said that the movement was not responsible for the violence taking place in the country.
Zaeef added – in a previous interview with Al-Jazeera – that the Taliban considers these actions a major conspiracy behind an intelligence agency that uses these methods to implicate the United States in his country.
The statements of Taliban leaders come at a time when the chances of withdrawing US and NATO forces from Afghanistan are declining due to the escalation of violence in this country.
The administration of US President Joe Biden announced that it is in the process of reviewing the Doha agreement, which provides for the withdrawal of foreign forces by next May, while Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has pledged the duration of those forces’ stay with the intensity of the conflict in his country.