Afghan peace negotiation team led by the head of HCNR Abdullah Abdullah and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Doha on Friday, ahead of “historic” Afghan peace negotiations scheduled to launch on Saturday.
Arriving in Doha, Qatar, Abdullah Abdullah twitted that he will attend the opening ceremony of the intra-Afghan peace talks.
“During my stay I will attend and speak at opening ceremony. I also would meet leaders of the host state, heads of delegates, and representatives of the participant countries,” he added.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo described the intra-Afghan negotiation (IAN) historic, saying that the people of Afghanistan deserve a country that is not at war.
“It’s taken us longer than I wish that it had to get from February 29 to here but we expect Saturday morning … to have the Afghans sitting at the table together prepared to have what will be contentious discussions about how to move their country forward,” Pompeo told reporters shortly after taking off from Washington on Thursday evening. “(It’s) truly historic.”
Mr Pompeo twitted that “the people of Afghanistan deserve a country that is not at war, and the US supports them to build a roadmap to a peaceful future.”
US special representative on Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad said a press conference that the intra-Afghan negotiations is a test for both sides, for the Taliban and the government.
“This is a new phase in diplomacy for peace in Afghanistan. Now we are entering a process that is Afghan-owned and Afghan-led,” he said, adding that the United States would continue to monitor and engage with both sides.
On the part of Taliban prisoners, Khalilzad said that “the agreement has a specific timeline for when the reconsideration of sanctions on the Taliban begins, and that is when intra-Afghan negotiations get started.”
It worth mentioning that the IAN will begin hours later in Doha with the participation of the representatives of many countries in the world