Peace Talks: Taliban Delegation Visits Turkmenistan

A Taliban high-level delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the group’s cofounders and its political deputy, on Friday visited Turkmenistan upon an official invitation from the neighboring country.

Khairulbanat Sadat
6 Feb 2021
Peace Talks: Taliban Delegation Visits Turkmenistan

The Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation, however, issued a statement in reaction to the trips of group’s officials to the region, and said making unfounded excuses, the Taliban causes delays in the peace process. It is getting busy with marginal discussions instead of focusing its attention on main issues and ending war and violence in the country, the statement read.

International affairs analysts believe that weakness of Afghan government diplomacy and the Doha peace deal which was signed between the United States and the Taliban late on February last year has turned the group into a political movement. 

Mehrab Ali Safdari, an international affairs expert, said a weakness in government diplomacy has allowed the Taliban to make most of the opportunity and expand its bilateral ties with countries in the region. 

Mosa Farewar, another internal relations expert, on the other hand, said Turkmenistan as Afghanistan’s neighboring country cannot remain unconcerned and is putting efforts to remove its concerns through establishing direct talks with the Taliban. 

A number of political analysts, however, believe that countries in the region have accepted the Taliban as a political reality of Afghanistan and want to interact. 

Political analyst Sayed Nasir Mosawi said whether or not the peace process has an outcome, the Taliban will remain a political actor in Afghanistan. 

Countries in the region look for their interests in Afghanistan through interacting with the group, he added. 

Officials in the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not be reached for comments about the Taliban’s trip to the neighboring Turkmenistan. But earlier Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry had said the Taliban’s visit to Iran was upon coordination with the ministry. 

Previously, the Taliban from its Qatar-based political office visited Iran and Russia where they discussed the Afghan peace process with senior officials from those countries. 

The visits come as peace negotiations have become stalled. 

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