Talks will start in the Qatari capital, Doha, on Saturday, between the Afghan government and the “Taliban” movement, with the aim of ending more than two decades of conflict, which is also the longest US military action abroad.
Officials, diplomats and analysts say that although bringing the two parties together at the negotiating table is an achievement in and of itself, it does not mean that the road to peace will be easy.
The talks begin with an opening ceremony attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The talks are being held one day after the 19 anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States that led to its military intervention in Afghanistan.read moreQatar will host the Afghan peace negotiations on September 12
Although the Taliban regime was swiftly toppled, the movement regrouped and began an armed rebellion since then that attracted Afghanistan’s neighbors and forces from dozens of countries, including NATO forces.
The troop withdrawal agreement signed between the United States and the “Taliban” in February in an attempt to find a political settlement to end the war provided for negotiations to reach a comprehensive peace agreement.
After a delay that lasted for months, a dispute was reached last week over the Taliban’s request to release five thousand prisoners.
US President Donald Trump is also looking to show progress in his pledge to end the US intervention and withdraw most of the foreign forces stationed in Afghanistan ahead of the presidential election in November.