As Intra-Afghan Talks Stall, Qatar Agrees to Play Mediator

Taliban negotiators return home amid impasse

Delays and disputed points are slowing the intra-Afghan talks in Doha to a virtual halt. Questions about procedure which were meant to be solved weeks ago are dragging on, and Qatar has agreed to step in and try to mediate the differences.

This is a very negative sign, as the peace talks have been going for some time, and despite a lot of interest from both sides in making progress, almost nothing has been agreed upon, and people are starting to get discouraged. Four Taliban negotiators have temporarily left because of the impasse to deal with personal matters.

The plan was to get the basic structure of the talks sorted before proceeding, and that’s still happening, but it is making it difficult to gauge how long it will be before concrete deals start being made, let alone what they’ll look like.

The Afghan government seems to be trying to position the Taliban to take the blame if the talks fail, accusing them of 356 attacks in just the past week. Afghan officials claimed to have killed over 400 Taliban in the same period, however, so it’s hard to position either side as blameless.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.