Peace talks resume in Doha, insurgents try to tighten grip at home

The government peace delegation led by Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, left Kabul on Friday for Doha to discuss a political settlement with the Taliban representatives.

The intra-Afghan talks, kicked off last September, were on halt for months, with the Afghan government accusing the insurgent group of unwillingness to sit at the peace table and reach a political settlement with the Afghan government.

At 11:30 (local time) the talks began, Faraidoon Khwazoon, the spokesperson for the High Council told Kabul Now.

Though the agenda of talks has not been disclosed to media, sources earlier told Kabul Now that a number of issues including a three-month ceasefire and Taliban prisoners’ release are on the top of the agenda. The Taliban have proposed a three-month ceasefire in return for release of 7,000 prisoners.    

Khwazoon expressed hope for an achievable peace.

The Doha talks on the future of Afghanistan resumes amid a growing Taliban military campaign. The insurgents are fighting to gain more territory since May 01, beginning of US troops withdrawal.

On Friday, the Afghan forces clashed with Taliban fighters, reclaiming Spin Boldak, a key border crossing with Pakistan. The Taliban are putting military efforts to tighten their grip in the northern part of the country.