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Intra-Afghan talks scheduled to get underway on Tuesday


Intra-Afghan talks scheduled to get underway on Tuesday

intra afghan talks
Photo: Reuters

Taliban representatives, Afghani government officials and other interested parties are expected to gather in Oslo today to resume peace negotiations.

Today’s meeting follows several new developments, including the signing of a peace accord in Doha on February 29 in which the US agreed to begin withdrawing more than 4,000 of its troops stationed in the country. Despite the deal, violence continues to wrack Afghanistan—just last Friday, an Islamist gunman killed 32 civilians and injured dozens more at a largely Shiite gathering.

The Taliban maintain a strong negotiating position. The insurgent group currently controls or contests about three-quarters of Afghanistan, even after nearly two decades of war with US and Afghan security forces.

While Taliban negotiators may sign an agreement furthering a post-war power-sharing plan, and may exchange up to 1,000 prisoners with the Afghani government, the likelihood that the Taliban are interested in sharing Afghanistan with Kabul is very low. From an ideological point of view, the Taliban’s religious stance on how Afghanistan must be governed is incompatible with that of the present Afghani government, which the Taliban additionally views as being nothing more than a US client state.

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It is more likely that any agreement signed today by Taliban officials will serve only to consolidate its political and military position in Afghanistan and buy time for the insurgency to resume hostilities.

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