Afghan Peace Negotiators Agree on Procedural Rules

US sees sides ready to set agenda for talks

After weeks of reports that the Afghan government and Taliban were settling on procedural rules for peace talks, the negotiators on both sides finally confirmed this progress Wednesday. The progress was reported as a done deal over a week ago, but until now the Afghan government was denying it.

Despite very public resistance from President Ghani, it appears that the rules now are exactly what they were when the reports began, building the talks framework around the existing US-Taliban deal, with certain religious schools of thought used to work matters out.

US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad says the two sides are now working on the agenda for talks, which is expected to include a political roadmap and a ceasefire between the factions. A ceasefire is likely a high priority for both sides.

The Taliban confirmed that there is a committee set up to work on the agenda for the talks. The Ghani government has not commented, but at least is no longer denying that the procedural rules are set.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.