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Contact groups discuss disputed issues over Afghan peace

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Contact groups discuss disputed issues over Afghan peace

Doha:  Members of the contact groups of both sides of the Afghan peace negotiations met in Doha and discussed the disputed issues in an effort to establish procedural rules and an agenda for the delayed direct talks, a government delegate said.

The delegate, Nader Nadery said at the meeting, which took place on Monday night, it was decided that contact teams of both sides will be reduced to three members each, TOLO News reported.

Earlier, the Afghan government team had seven members and the Taliban had five.

Mohammad Naeem, a Taliban spokesman in Qatar, said: “This evening, the contact groups, each containing three (members) had a meeting.

“Again, the controversial points were discussed during the session and the continuation of meetings was emphasized so a final understanding about the procedure be reached as soon as possible.”

Sources said the meeting was aimed at finalizing disagreements about the disputed points and accelerating the peace process.

The two sides have agreed on 18 out of 20 articles for the procedural rules, but two main articles — the religious basis for the talks and connection of the US-Taliban deal with the negotiations — remain unsolved.

The intra-Afghan talks were formally launched on September 12.

So far, direct talks have not started because of disagreements on the procedural rules.

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