An Afghan peace process meeting was held here, as Qatar moves to open a Taleban office in Doha.
A US delegation has joined Afghanistan and Pakistan authorities in Abu Dhabi on Friday for the ninth meeting of the Afghan peace process core group held here for the first time. Qatar last week gave initial consent for the office.
According to Jawid Ludin, the Afghan undersecretary for foreign affairs, the meeting focused on security and political issues, as well as the trilateral relations between Afghanistan, Pakistan and USA.
“The reason we met today is because the peace process is gaining greater momentum, there are greater steps for cooperation such as the release of Taleban detainees from Pakistan and the successful visit to Washington of (Afghan President Hamid) Karzai,” said Ludin. Pakistan plans to release all Afghan Taleban prisoners still in its detention, including the group’s former second-in-command, an official said on Friday.
“The remaining detainees, we are coordinating, and they will be released subsequently,” Jalil Jilani, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, the foreign ministry’s top bureaucrat, told a news conference in Abu Dhabi.
Lidin said that the international security forces will withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
“At present, the Afghan security forces have 80 per cent control of the country and by mid-2013, they will lead the security responsibilities in all Afghanistan. Nato forces will only provide support,” Ludin told Khaleej Times. David Pierce, the acting special representative of USA for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said that Qatar gave its initial consent to the Taleban to open an office last week.
“I don’t know if a Taleban office in Qatar is a security issue for GCC and it would require a GCC agreement, but Qatar gave its initial support and we are hoping to open it soon,” he said.