Published: 19 Jul 2021, 11:27 am
The agreement was announced at a joint news conference by the heads of the Afghan government and the Taliban delegation on Sunday night. The head of the Afghan government's delegation, Abdullah Abdullah, said the two sides had made their views clear at the Doha meeting and had decided to discuss the issue again in the next few weeks.
After Abdullah's speech, the head of the Taliban delegation, Mullah Abdul Gani Baradar, gave a short speech. Shortly afterwards, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem, who was present at the press conference, released a six-point statement in a Twitter message.
Mollah Abdul Gani Baradar Akhand (left) and Abdullah Abdullah (right) || Photo: Collected
He said at the Doha meeting that the two sides agreed to protect Afghanistan's infrastructure as well as to avoid civilian casualties.
After the Doha peace talks began, it was thought that the two sides would agree on a temporary ceasefire on the occasion of the upcoming Eid al-Adha. But neither side made any such announcement at the joint press conference. The two sides were also expected to issue a joint statement announcing a roadmap for mutual trust, the constitution, and the Afghan political process. But no such announcement came.
After two days of talks, the Taliban and Afghan government delegations tried to keep the content, the atmosphere, and the talks secret.
Besides Abdullah, the Afghan delegation to the peace talks included Mohammad Karim Khalili, leader of Hezb-e-Islami in Afghanistan, Ata Mohammad Noor, Abdus Salam Rahimi, Mohammad Masum Estanakzai and Fatema Jilani, head of one of the branches of Jamiat Ulema. On the other hand, Mullah Abdul Hakim, Sheikh Mohammad Farid, Mollah Mohammad Fazil Majlum, Qari Deen Mohammad Hanif, Sheikh Shahabuddin Delwar and Maulvi Abdus Salam Hanafi were with Mollah Baradar in the Taliban delegation.
Although journalists were present at the opening ceremony of the Doha peace talks, no one was present in the remaining sessions except the two Afghan negotiators and Qatar's representative on Afghan affairs. The rest of the two-day meeting was held in a closed room.