The next meeting between delegations from the Afghanistan government and the Taliban will take place in the month of August, TOLO News reported on Sunday. Earlier this month, the first meeting was held in Qatar, during which both sides agreed to continue their meetings and expedite the peace efforts in Afghanistan. This came even as delegates failed to reach a deal on a ceasefire.
Citing sources in the Doha negotiating teams, the TOLO reported said that efforts will be made through these meetings to achieve a framework for peace talks, keeping the US drawdown deadline of August 31 in mind. “It will be helpful if an authoritative team attends the meeting this time, but if the delegation has less authority, it will not have an outcome,” said former Taliban commander Sayed Akbar Agha.
Large-scale fighting on multiple fronts throughout Afghanistan is still at large as the Taliban claims to have captured 85 per cent. US Central Command (CENTCOM) Chief General Kenneth McKenzie on Sunday said Washington will continue to support Afghan security forces through airstrikes in combating the terrorist group. Addressing a presser in Kabul, General McKenzie said, “The United States will continue to carry out airstrikes to support Afghan forces facing attack from the Taliban.” “The United States has increased airstrikes in support of Afghan forces over the last several days and we’re prepared to continue this heightened level of support in the coming weeks if the Taliban continue their attacks,” McKenzie said.
Meanwhile, Head of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, in a recent interview said the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution. “Since we think that peaceful settlement is much, much better option than the continuation of the war, we will continue to make these efforts,” Abdullah said. Experts believe that the efforts in Doha for peace talks should be expedited and it should not take more time.