No breakthrough as Pompeo meets Taliban, Kabul negotiators in Doha

DOHA: US secretary of state Mike Pompeo met Afghan authorities and Taliban negotiators in Doha Saturday, however there was no announcement of any breakthrough as Washington accelerates its navy withdrawal.
Pompeo’s go to got here within the wake of a rocket assault which struck densely populated areas of Kabul, killing at the least eight folks within the newest outbreak of violence within the Afghan capital. The Taliban denied duty and the Islamic State group claimed the lethal strike.
Pompeo met individually with the Afghan authorities and Taliban negotiation groups in a luxurious resort within the Qatari capital together with his encounter with the novel Islamist insurgents lasting over an hour.
“I might be most keen on getting your ideas on how we are able to enhance the chance of a profitable consequence”, Pompeo stated as he met the Afghan authorities aspect, noting the shared curiosity in such a situation.
He additionally met Qatar’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, the overseas minister, on his cease in Doha, which is the Taliban’s base for diplomacy.
However there was no announcement of any breakthrough in talks between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities, forward of Pompeo’s departure.
He flew on to Abu Dhabi for the subsequent leg of his seven-nation tour of Europe and the Center East, as President Donald Trump shores up late-term priorities.
Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of Afghanistan’s Excessive Council for Nationwide Reconciliation, informed AFP the federal government and the Taliban had been “very shut” to breaking a impasse in talks.
“We’re shut, we’re very shut. Hopefully we cross this section and get to the substantial points” together with safety, he stated throughout a go to to Turkey.
Earlier this week, the Pentagon stated it will quickly pull some 2,000 troops out of Afghanistan, dashing up the timeline established in a February settlement between Washington and the Taliban that envisions a full US withdrawal in mid-2021.
Trump has repeatedly vowed to finish “endlessly wars”, together with in Afghanistan, America’s longest-ever battle that started with an invasion to dislodge the Taliban following the September 11, 2001 assaults.
President-elect Joe Biden, in a uncommon level of settlement with Trump, additionally advocates winding down the Afghanistan struggle, though analysts consider he won’t be as wedded to a speedy withdrawal.
The Taliban are talking to Afghanistan’s authorities for the primary time.
The talks began on September 12 in Doha however virtually instantly faltered over disagreements concerning the agenda, the fundamental framework of discussions and non secular interpretations.
A number of sources informed AFP on Friday that the 2 sides seem to have resolved among the points, nevertheless.
Among the many sticking factors up to now, the Taliban and the Afghan authorities have struggled to agree on widespread language on two predominant points.
The Taliban, who’re Sunni hardliners, are insisting on adherence to the Hanafi college of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence, however authorities negotiators say this might be used to discriminate towards Hazaras, who’re predominantly Shiite, and different minorities.
One other contentious matter is how the US-Taliban deal will form a future Afghan peace deal and the way it will likely be referred to.
The Doha peace talks opened after the Taliban and Washington signed a deal in February, with the US agreeing to withdraw all overseas forces in change for safety ensures and a Taliban promise to start out talks.
Regardless of the talks, violence has surged throughout Afghanistan, with the Taliban stepping up every day assaults towards Afghan safety forces.
Trump’s plan to slash troops by January 15 — lower than every week earlier than his successor Joe Biden is to be sworn in to workplace — has been criticised in Afghanistan.
Saturday’s strike on the Afghan capital noticed a barrage of rockets slam into varied components of central and north Kabul — together with in and across the closely fortified Inexperienced Zone that homes embassies and worldwide corporations.
The Islamic State group stated in an announcement that 28 Katyusha rockets had been fired by “troopers of the caliphate”.
Afghanistan’s Inside ministry spokesman Tariq Arian had earlier blamed the Taliban, saying “terrorists” had fired a complete of 23 rockets. Nonetheless, the Taliban denied duty, saying they “don’t blindly fireplace on public locations”.

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