Afghan Peace Negotiators Meet for First Time in Over a Month

Hope to get process advanced while Ghani downplays chances of deal

Afghan Taliban and government negotiators met Monday in Doha, the first such meeting in over a month, on the possibility of continuing negotiations, and setting the agenda for further talks to come, the point at which the process had previously stalled.

The Taliban negotiators, and Afghan chief negotiator Abdullah Abdullah, were both pushing for the talks to continue, though President Ghani is a big question mark over that, having seemingly disavowed them in recent comments.

Ghani was quoted just recently as promising the Taliban “will not see an interim government while I am alive,” and that the peace talks won’t result in any such deal. Abdullah has not addressed that but keeps talking of a ceasefire and a political settlement that would almost have to include power-sharing, since the Taliban controls more than half of Afghanistan as it is.

In all cases, the Biden administration is looming large over the process. If they scrap the pullout, as seems likely, there will be no peace to negotiate over anyhow, and the war will just move into its third decade.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.