Kabul, Dec 27 (efe-epa).- President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday agreed for the second round of the intra-Afghan peace negotiations to take place in the Qatari capital of Doha, although emphasized that future stages of the process should be held in Afghanistan.
“Based on the request of the leadership of the negotiation team and the High Council for National Reconciliation, consultations with international supporters (of peace) and for the sake of preventing a delay in the second round of the talks, Afghanistan’s president agreed for the next round of negotiation to be held in Qatar,” Ghani’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, said on Twitter.
The Afghan government had been pushing to hold the second round of talks in Afghanistan, although the Taliban preferred to keep them in Qatar, where the group has maintained a political office for years.
Ghani announced the decision after meeting with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, at the Presidential Palace.
Government and Taliban negotiators agreed to take their first official break in talks on 12 December after almost three months.
The second round is due to begin on 5 January.
So far, the two sides have only agreed on the rules and procedures of the negotiations, while leaving important issues such as the ceasefire for the next round of discussions. EFE-EPA