Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) on Saturday reported that Saudi Arabia is expected to host a Quadrilateral meeting on peace in Afghanistan.
The four-nation conference including Afghanistan, the United States, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will be held in Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh this week, aimed at facilitating peace talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban.
Mohammad Akram Khpalwak, head of HPC’s secretariat said that a joint delegation of High Peace Council and Ulema Council of Afghanistan is expected to leave Kabul for Qatar to begin direct talks with representatives of the Taliban’s political office in Doha.
He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working on the plans aimed at providing guarantees and conditions which could be shared in negotiating table with the Taliban.
In addition, NBC reported that the U.S. officials have begun indirect talks with former Taliban members amid intensifying efforts to end the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan.
Citing the Taliban sources, the report said the talks have occurred in Afghanistan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates,
The report also noted that the Taliban delegations had been joined by five Americans for a series of meetings in hotel suites in Doha, Qatar.
In reaction, Afghan President’s Office Spokesman Mohammad Haroon Chakhansoori said that the peace meetings should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, adding that peace is the initiative of the Afghan government and its people.
Head of Afghanistan’s Ulema Council Qimuddin Kashaf, however, considered the role of Islamic countries in Afghan peace process as highly important for ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
This comes two weeks after Saudi Arabia hosted an International Ulema Conference on Afghanistan, where the Islamic scholars declared the Taliban’s war in Afghanistan as “illegitimate” and called for an end to the violence in the country.