Serbia says previously hosted Afghan gov’t-Taliban peace talks

by Sami Burgaz
Kept secret for years, 3 sessions of talks took place in capital Belgrade, says parliament speaker, then-foreign minister.

BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – Serbia was the site of peace talks between Afghanistan’s government and the Taliban several years ago, the Balkan country’s parliament speaker said on Tuesday.

Ivica Dacic said during a TV interview that the talks had been kept secret at the time, during which he was foreign minister, upon the instructions of President Aleksandar Vucic.

“They came over on three occasions. I was their host, while the incumbent Afghan president would attend via a video link. Here were representatives of the Afghan Peace Council and some representatives of the Taliban, that is, their factions,” Dacic told to Serbian TV Pink network.

“They talked three times in Belgrade, but later on, the great powers took over after seeing what we had been doing. They said: ‘We will do it in Doha, in Qatar.’ The result is obvious.”

He said Serbia had not interfered in the talks.

“The atmosphere was fair and it was a common opinion that progress had been made at that time. A truce was declared. Until today, I have not spoken about this as we had agreed to keep it a secret. That is, not to speak publicly about it to prevent the talks from being spoiled,” said Dacic.

He added that by hosting the talks, Serbia improved its position regarding Afghanistan as both sides expressed their thanks to the country.

The Taliban have taken over Afghanistan after capturing the capital Kabul on Sunday and are in the process of establishing their government that had been removed after US-led foreign forces occupied the country in 2001.


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