Localized disruptions are possible in Doha on and around Saturday, September 12, as the city hosts the long-awaited opening of inter-Afghan peace negotiations. Multiple senior international dignitaries, including former Afghan chief executive Abdullah Abdullah and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as a number of senior Taliban officials, are expected to attend the first meeting between the parties on Saturday.
Whilst the city has hosted multiple rounds of US-Taliban peace talks in recent years, the significance of the upcoming inter-Afghan meetings and presence of senior foreign officials are likely to prompt increased security and associated disruptions in some areas over the weekend.
Following the signing of the US-Taliban deal in February, inter-Afghan talks had been expected to begin in Doha in March. However, the negotiations have faced months of delays amid disputes over a controversial prisoner amnesty deal, which saw 5000 Taliban prisoners released from government custody. The final six Taliban detainees covered under the US-brokered agreement are reported to have been transferred to Qatar on Thursday, September 10, after their release was opposed by French and Australian authorities, paving the way for the opening of direct inter-Afghan talks.
Those in Doha are advised to monitor local media sources to remain apprised of any associated disruption to travel in their particular area of operations. Travelers should heed any directives issued by local authorities.