Mawlawi Abdul Rauf says the delegation does not represent those Taliban who are not in favor of intra-Afghan peace talks.
Turkey Delegation ‘Represents All Taliban Factions’
Mawlawi Abdul Rauf, a purported Taliban leader who heads the peace talks delegation in Turkey, said they represent all Taliban factions in the negotiations with government officials.
“We represent the overall Taliban (members) of the Islamic emirate expect some of individuals who are not willing to opt for intra-Afghan peace talks and who want to talk through Americans,” Rauf said in an interview with TOLOnews from Turkey.
He added: “I want to say that we represent the Taliban in this meeting and this is the third peace talks meeting here in Turkey. It is a fundamental meeting.”
He said the meeting is not officials so far, but he said more leaders of the Taliban will attend the official peace talks meeting in the future.
In response to a question about their conditions, Rauf said their conditions have not changed and that this time “government has shown more flexibility to their demands”.
Mawlawi Abdul Rauf was a governor during the Taliban regime – 1996 to 2001.
Afghan government representatives held unofficial talks with five Taliban members in Turkey on Sunday.
Humayun Jarir and Abbas Basir are representing Afghan government in the meeting.
Humayun Jarir, a representative of Afghan government in the talks, told TOLOnews that the talks are unofficial and that they will discuss mechanisms to pave the ground for official talks between the two sides.
He said the Taliban members are representing Quetta Shura, Haqqani network and other factions of the Taliban.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s spokesman Mujib Rahman Rahimi said they welcome any move ends to peace in Afghanistan.
“Efforts are underway in different dimensions to have some achievements in this regard. We will welcome any progress made in this regard,” Rahimi told TOLOnews on Sunday.
Some MPs also welcomed the ongoing negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban members in Turkey.
“It can be an essential move if government can manage the process,” Ghulam Farooq Majroh, an MP, said.
“These meetings and efforts on peace are important,” MP Munawar Shah said.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, has rejected the meeting, claiming that the delegation does not represent the group.
The first and second rounds of government-Taliban negotiations were held in Turkey last year.