KABUL – The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan held International Consultations on Strengthening Consensus for Peace. Representatives of eighteen of Afghanistan’s international partners and four international organizations including the United Nations, European Union, and NATO attended the conference held via VTC.
H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, opened the conference with a statement setting forth the recent developments that the Afghan government has made in paving the way for the intra-Afghan talks to begin.
Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar chaired the meeting and engaged with the statements delivered by several of Afghanistan state and institutional allies. A number if clear areas of consensus among the participants and the Afghan government representatives present emerged.
State and institutional Participants welcomed the political agreement reached between H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and H.E. Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation.
Partners praised the efforts of Government of Afghanistan in releasing Taliban prisoners, building trust and showing a desire to end the conflict through peaceful means.
Participants showed collective concern over the Taliban’s targeting of civilian targets and called on them to agree to a reduction in violence and a humanitarian ceasefire. This would build trust and show the Taliban’s willingness to engage in peace talks as well as creating as safe space for Afghans to reach humanitarian aid in times of COVID-19 crisis.
The Afghan Government representatives called on the Taliban to set a firm date for the start of the intra-Afghan talks, stating that a inclusive and capable team of Afghan negotiators were ready to start the talks.
Commenting on the nature of the intra-Afghan talks, the international allies stressed on the meaningful participation of women in the talks. Participants emphasised that any agreement must preserve and strengthen the achievements of the last two decades, including the nature of the republic, safeguarding fundamental rights and the principle of inclusion.
The participants showed readiness to support both the peace talks and discuss the post peace talk development in Afghanistan, particularly in the upcoming Geneva Conference.
H.E. Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation concluded the conference by reassuring the Afghan Government’s commitment to the peace talks, good governance and the preservations of the Afghan public’s human rights.
In closing, participants expressed support for the continuation of the International Consultations and the Consultations on Strengthening Regional Consensus for Peace held on July 6, 2020.