As fighting escalates and at least 17 districts fall to the Taliban, it is reported that the government’s negotiators have met with the Taliban political members. They have held their first meeting in Doha, Qatar. “The Afghan government and Taliban negotiators met in the Qatar capital Doha. This was the first discussion between the two sides this week aimed at speeding up the peace process and continuing to accelerate the peace talks and finally reach a mutual understanding,” Pakistan International News reported. “The talks resumed after a long hiatus.”
Meanwhile, Sohail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban peace negotiating team in Doha Capital of Qatar, said the leaders of the two negotiating teams also met with each other to reopen the peace talks.” Sohail Shahin, a member of the Taliban delegation, wrote on Twitter: “On Wednesday, delegations from both teams and a group of negotiating members met in Doha. They discussed issues on the agenda. It was also emphasized that “Talks between the two sides should accelerate, and the Afghan government and the Taliban should soon reach an agreement on various issues.”
The Afghan government also confirms that the first official meeting between the two sides has been held after a long pause. This is the first meeting announced by the two sides since mid-May. But in April, talks between the two sides came to a complete halt, citing the withdrawal of US troops on September 11.
The meeting comes as the Taliban have stepped up their attacks, stressing that fighting is the only option for them to win. At the same time, the Ministry of National Defense said in a report that at least 111 Taliban fighters had been killed in subsequent airstrikes by the army. But the Taliban have denied the allegations, stressing that they have now been able to seize more territory.