The long-awaited intra-Afghan peace conference between the Taliban and prominent politicians including Afghan government which was set to be held in China might be cancelled, a source close to the Taliban insurgent group said on Tuesday.
Abdul Salaam Zaeef, a former Taliban official, told Ariana News that Taliban has showed their opposition after President Ghani has removed names of specific figures from the list of participants.
“There are possibilities that this meeting will be cancelled, because as far as I know, the Taliban has not accepted the list provided by the government. I think the government is trying to introduce its favorite people,” Zaeef said.
“The China meeting has faced with a deadlock. I don’t think it will be held very soon, because Taliban has rejected a list prepared by the government,” said Shahzada Masoud, a political commentator.
However, Gran Hewad Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Tuesday that the government is fully prepared for the China Conference, and it is awaiting for the finalization of the date of the meeting by China.
“Efforts are underway to finalize the list. Consultations are in progress it is not ended yet,” MoFA Spokesman said.
This comes after former Afghan President, a key figure who was invited to the China meeting, said on Monday that he has removed his name from the list of participants after President Ghani’s opposition. He added that Ghani had called also for the removal of other figures and the he rejected it.
Meanwhile, a source close to Taliban told Ariana News that the China meeting will be held after the unofficial U.S.-Taliban talks ended in Qatar. He said Anas Haqqani, a key Taliban member who was released by Afghan government as a part of a prisoner swap deal between the U.S. and Taliban, will also participate in the China talks.