HCNR Leadership Committee

HCNR decides to hold next round of intra-Afghan talks in Doha

The leadership committee of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) has decided to hold the next round of intra-Afghan talks in Doha, capital of Qatar, according to the High Council’s spokesman and statement.

Chairman of the High Council, Abdullah Abdullah, briefing the HCNR’s leadership committee, said the countries that had expressed readiness to host the next rounds of intra-Afghan talks, support  Doha as venue of the talks due to Covid-19 related restriction, according to a statement issued by the HCNR today, December 27.

Spokesperson for the High Council, Fraidoon Khwazoon, also confirmed in a tweet that the negotiations with the Taliban will start in Doha, on January 05, 2021, as decide by the HCNR leadership committee.

In today’s meeting, the leadership committee discussed details about negotiation, prioritization of the negotiation’s agendas, strengthening the position of the Islamic Republic’s negotiation team, promoting national unity and consensus, developing a conclusive peace narrative, importance and urgency of the ceasefire, the citizens’ rights, and freedom of speech, according to the HCNR statement.

The committee has also decided to make a technical committee to set the top priorities of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for the second round of intra-Afghan talks. It further noted that the priorities once endorsed by the leadership committee of the high council will be used as a support guidelines for the negotiation team.

This comes hours after Abdullah met President Ghani and, as the Presidential Palace stated, they discussed the venue and date of the intra-Afghan talks during the meeting.

Wahid Omer, president advisor on public relation and strategic communication, said that President Ghani has agreed on Doha as venue of the second round of peace talks between the Taliban and the government. Mr. Omer says that the government is determined to host the coming rounds of talks inside Afghanistan.

However, the Afghan government had previously expressed disinterest in continuation of negotiations in the Qatari capital, Doha. Citing President Ghani’s speech at a cabinet meeting on December 14, Sediq Sediqi, the President’s spokesperson, said that the government was ready to negotiate with the Taliban inside Afghanistan—anywhere the group prefer.

Earlier today, Sunday, December 27, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh wrote on Facebook that the peace route does not only pass through Doha. He added that the Taliban do not believe in a peaceful life [in] the modern Afghanistan.