Progress stalls in Afghan peace talks as parties wait for Biden By Reuters

By Abdul Qadir Sediqi and Charlotte Greenfield KABUL (Reuters) – The Afghan peace talks that resumed four days ago are effectively on hold, sources from both sides said on Wednesday, as negotiators wait for President-elect Joe Biden to indicate whether to proceed. will get attached to Donald. Trump‘s aggressive program to withdraw troops. After a month-long hiatus, some negotiators from both sides have yet to return to Doha, the Qatari capital that has served as the headquarters for negotiations between the Afghan government and insurgents to end decades of war. A diplomatic source in Kabul said expectations for progress were low before Biden takes office on January 20. The parties “do not want to commit to anything before the 20th. They wanted the process to be ongoing in the meantime because that was one of the Requirements of the international community, so that they have the process. But it is stagnant,” he said. Last year, Trump, who had long promised to end America’s longest war, signed a full withdrawal from the United States in the coming months. But that depends on the Taliban meeting the security conditions that they say the Afghan government, have not been complied with. Biden and his advisers have so far given few clues about their plans. “DIFFICULT DECISIONS” “We are waiting for the new US administration and its policies towards Afghanistan to see if they respect the peace agreement.” a Taliban negotiator told Reuters on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to speak publicly. They do not honor their commitment to withdraw their forces as promised … then bear We would have to make tough decisions appointing hardliners to key positions on the ground. ” After months of little progress, the parties finally agreed on ground rules for talks late in the past. The talks broke down in December, in part to allow negotiators to return home for consultations with their leaders. The parties announced last week that they would resume talks on Saturday. But so far only limited meetings have been held between teams plus three diplomatic and Afghan government sources told Reuters. About four of the main members of the Taliban negotiating team were not yet in Qatar, said the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah. Mujahid said. He said this was due to logistical problems traveling from remote areas where they were visiting relatives. They would arrive in the next few days and the delay would not affect the talks, he said. Some Afghan government negotiators were not yet in Doha either. One, who has been receiving treatment for cancer, told Reuters she planned to travel there this week. Ashley Jackson, co-director of the Center for the Study of Armed Groups at the Overseas Development Institute think tank, said one reason for the delay by the Taliban could be that negotiators needed more time to talk with leaders of the group. “It is still not entirely clear why they are delayed, but with increasing speculation, this cannot last much longer without some kind of explanation,” he said. The delayed comeback “reflects the lack of momentum that exists.”

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