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Qatar stands for peace in Afghanistan

The Minister of Foreign Affairs’ Special Envoy for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution, Dr. Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani, representing Qatar in the Intra-Afghan talks being hosted in Doha, has reaffirmed Qatar’s commitment to bring permanent peace in Afghanistan. Qatar and Germany have collaborated to host the second intra-Afghan dialogue in the Gulf state.

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Dr. Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs’ Special Envoy for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution, in his address during the intra-Afghan talks in Doha on Monday has expressed that Qatar’s interests lie in a peaceful resolution in Afghanistan, which is far from another military settlement.

The summit imperatively aims to include the domestic opinion of the Afghan citizens without which a long-lasting resolution is an unattainable task to achieve.

He further reaffirmed Qatar’s willingness to continue its role as the mediator, for as long as lasting and sustainable solution was achieved. Al Qahtani also defined areas of particular interests in the resolution efforts of the Gulf state in Afghanistan, including a permanent ceasefire, civilian protection, releasing prisoners, developing a mutual-consensus among Afghan political parties and perpetual peace in the country and region.

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Intra-Afghan Talks

The two-day summit hosted by Qatar started on Sunday morning is being attended by several high-profile Afghan citizens including politicians, civil society activists and the Taliban leadership to collectively discuss the future of the conflict-torn Afghanistan.

The summit imperatively aims to include the domestic opinion of the Afghan citizens without which a long-lasting resolution is an unattainable task to achieve. “The meeting is aimed at further pushing the intra-Afghan negotiations for peace.” Omar Zakhilwal said, the former Afghan envoy to Pakistan.

Qatar hosted a similar intra-Afghan dialogue in April this year that ended rather abruptly due to a number of disagreements between both sides of the delegation. Previously, however, Russia had successfully hosted and culminated two intra-Afghan talks in February and May to discuss the future of Afghan politics.

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The Four Axes of Afghan Negotiations

Al Qahtani, while discussing the development of the talks between the US and Taliban, stated that the Qatari state is so far quite satisfied with the on-going negotiations.

Qatar and Germany have collaborated to host the second intra-Afghan dialogue in the Gulf state.

He further revealed that the Afghan talks include four axes, the first is not to use Afghan territory by any party to threaten the interests of the United States or its allies and other countries in the region, the second is the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghan territory within specific time frames, the third is to commence dialogue and direct talks between Afghans, the Taliban and the Afghan government, and the fourth is to have a comprehensive ceasefire.

He added that while the first and the second axis had been achieved, progress was being made in the other two levels of negotiations.

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Not a negotiation, it is a dialogue

Matin Beg, head of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance, has stated that the aim of this meeting is to present the Taliban with the changes made in Afghanistan since the past 18 years and so the dialogue could potentially lead to direct negotiations between the government and the Taliban leaders.

It is also believed that the Afghan government is willing to talk to the Taliban once the US provides a comprehensive withdrawal plan.

Qatar-Germany collaborates for Intra-Afghan Talks

While the seventh round of talks between the US and Taliban have been paused for now, both Qatar and Germany have collaborated to host the intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha. It is however expected that the US-Taliban talks will resume on Tuesday.

Al Qahtani, while discussing the development of the talks between the US and Taliban, stated that the Qatari state is so far quite satisfied with the on-going negotiations.

Markus Potzel, Germany’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, in his opening remarks in intra-Afghan dialogue conference in Doha on Sunday appreciated Afghan efforts to engage in constructive dialogue for the betterment of the country, particularly the future generations.

Read more: Why is Russia so invested in the Afghan peace process?

Potzel further stated that no outsider country is solely capable of bringing peace in the country, rather it is an inside effort that would lead towards a long-lasting peace. “We understand that making peace won’t be easy. Your country is at the crossroads of competing for regional and international interests. But outside factors can only result in conflict if the Afghans are divided. When Afghans stand united the region will recognize that its interests are best served by a stable and peaceful neighbour,” he stated while addressing both Afghan parties.

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