Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will participate in several video conferences this week with foreign officials to reach an understanding about peace negotiations with the Taliban, the Foreign Ministry announced Monday.
Three foreign conferences will be held in this regard, the first of which will be held on Monday, with representatives of twenty countries, said Gran Hewad, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry.He added, “It aims to reach an understanding” on peace negotiations at the regional and international levels.
An official at the Afghan Foreign Ministry confirmed this initiative, in which the United States, Pakistan, Russia, India, Iran, China, Qatar, Egypt, the United Nations, and some international organizations participate.
Hours before the first meeting, a spokesman for Ghani condemned the escalation of violence attributed to the Taliban in the past weeks.
“There are no obstacles on our part regarding the peace process, but we believe that the Taliban are not serious,” Siddiqui Siddiqui told reporters. “Kabul has released more than four thousand” Taliban prisoners “to reduce the level of violence in the country,” but it “has not retreated,” he added.
President Ghani promised to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners, compared to 1,000 Afghan security forces captured in accordance with the agreement between Washington and the Taliban in Doha, which Kabul had not ratified.
In the agreement concluded at the end of September, Washington pledged to withdraw foreign forces from Afghanistan by mid-2021 in exchange for guarantees from the Taliban, especially the relaunching of peace negotiations.
Although the Taliban have repeatedly declared their “pledge” to respect the terms of the agreement, they often hold the Afghan government responsible for disrupting the negotiations and accuse them of not quickly releasing their prisoners.
On Monday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced to France Press that Kabul had “created obstacles” to release five thousand prisoners and “must complete the operation.”
He added that the government’s “arguments” were illogical and unreasonable.
Violence has subsided in the country since the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire at the end of May on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.
However, the Afghan authorities confirm that rebel attacks have renewed strongly in recent weeks.