Afghan rivals agree to meet again after inconclusive Doha talks

Delegations from the Afghan government and the Taliban said in a joint statement on Sunday that they will meet again and plan to expedite peace negotiations after two days of inconclusive talks in Doha, Al Jazeera has learned.

The negotiators from the rival sides, who have been in Doha since Saturday, said “the two sides committed to continue negotiations at a high level until a settlement is reached”.

“We will work to provide humanitarian assistance throughout Afghanistan,” the statement added.

Reporting from Doha, Al Jazeera’s Osama bin Javaid said: “A hotly contested draft was put forth by both sides where they finally agreed to talk to each other and to speed up talks. They agreed that the level of negotiations will be expedited.” Javaid added that the specifics, however, were not discussed.

Over the years, the Taliban has announced a series of short truces during Islamic holidays, initially spurring hopes for a larger reduction of violence. However, the group has been criticised for using the temporary ceasefires to resupply and reinforce their fighters, allowing them to launch withering onslaughts on Afghanistan’s security forces once the truce expires.