No Progress in First Three Days of New Intra-Afghan Talks

Neither side showing flexibility after return to Doha

Taliban and Afghan government negotiator teams returned to Doha to start the second round of negotiations, and three days in, there is no sign that any progress has been made, with both sides saying the other isn’t showing enough flexibility.

19+ years into a war, it’s fairly obvious that some substantial compromises need to be made to move forward. Both sides seem fully aware of that, but both sides also expect their own demands to get first priority in the talks.

Indications are that the government is pushing for a ceasefire before anything else, while Taliban negotiators say details on the future government are important to work out first. There is some sense that the Taliban needs to keep the ceasefire as leverage for parts of setting the agenda.

Waiting on the ceasefire is a risky proposition though, with violence continuing to threaten the process in general. Both sides need that measure of stability as a confidence builder, but when it will be worked out remains to be seen.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.