Bona Fides of Taliban Representatives At Paris Meeting Unclear: MoFA

News - Afghanistan


Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday that there is insufficient information about the backgrounds of the two Taliban representatives at the Paris meeting, and that the Afghan government has not identified which Taliban faction the two represented.

"It is yet not clear which group the two Taliban members were representing," said Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasool. He was called to the Senate to address the body's concerns over the Paris meeting.

"There is no need of holding such meetings outside the country. The meetings for [peace] talks should be held in Afghanistan," said Rasool.

Shahabuddin Delawar and Naeem Wardak represented the Taliban and read a prepared statement that called, among other things, for amendments to the Constitution. The meeting was organized by a French research organization and had the tacit backing of the French government.

During Rasool's questioning, a number of senators criticised the government's foreign policy, especially towards neighboring countries.

"The government has no unified foreign policy, and in most cases there is contradiction in what government officials state," said Senator Gul Ahmad Azami.

"Peace cannot be achieved by begging other countries. Most countries prioritize their own interests," said Senator Belqis Roshan, referring to the government's recent cooperation with Pakistan in the peace negotiations.

"Those who took part in the Paris meeting seek to cover their crimes by changes to the Constitution," she added, criticizing the Taliban demand for the amendment of the Constitution as their plan to seek amnesty for their actions.

Senator Rafiullah Haidari said the Paris meeting was not representative enough and did not have someone representing those who fought in the Afghan jihad.

"Representatives of most factions were not present at the Paris meeting. Those who were present at the meeting did not represent the people and Jihadi parties," Haidari noted.

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