US, Taliban Meet While Afghanistan Runs ‘Parallel’ Summit

Afghan officials insist ceasefire must be first step in any deal

US and Taliban delegations have met once again in Doha, continuing key negotiations on the timeline of a US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the general process toward ending the 18+ year Afghan War.

Afghan government officials, meanwhile, held their own round of talks in Kabul. There are thousands of delegates, but they’re not talking to anyone else, so the Afghan government is just trying to present internal dialogue as a “parallel” summit.

Whether Afghan government officials ever get beyond that and up to the point where they’re talking to someone else is another matter. The US set up a chance for them to send a delegation to meet the Taliban, but that entire process is on hold after President Ghani stopped his delegation from attending.

Ghani’s jirga is insisting that a nationwide ceasefire needs to be the first step in any peace process, and they won’t accept anything else. This doesn’t seem to be the position of either the US or the Taliban, as they’ve made considerable progress on their peace process, and both seem to still be fighting as much as ever in the meantime.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.