MoFA’s Hewad: Afghan Govt Would Have Saved Doha Talks

The Afghan government wants to engage with peace talks, but sources say the Taliban insists on dealing with the US first.

The government of Afghanistan wants involvement in any resumed talks between the United States and the Taliban.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gran Hewad, suggested on Monday that the negotiations would not have faced a deadlock if the Afghan government had been engaged in the process.

The US-Taliban talks in Doha, which continued for almost nine months, were called off by US President Donald Trump in September following a bombing in Kabul that was claimed by the Taliban. Twelve people were killed in the blast, including an American soldier, and Trump declared the talks “dead.”

Hewad, on Monday, told reporters: “If the government of Afghanistan had a role in the Doha talks, it would have been able to continue the talks despite hurdles, and handle friction in the process caused by foreigners.”

But a source close to the Taliban said the intra-Afghan talks will not begin until the Taliban first reaches an agreement with the US.

“The Taliban has announced they will talk to all sides in Afghanistan after they reach an agreement with the US about the withdrawal of American troops,” said Mawlawi Abdul Shakoor Mutmaen, a former Taliban member based in Kabul.

Meanwhile, an official from the Office of the National Security Advisor highlighted Germany’s role in providing a possible way for resuming the peace talks.

“Germany is helping us without any political concern, and it was stressed in yesterday’s meeting (with German special envoy Markus Potzel) that they would extend this cooperation,” said Kabir Haqmal, a spokesman for the Office of the National Security Advisor.

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