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Multiple-side efforts for peace revive Afghan hopes

22 Oct 2019 - 19:59
22 Oct 2019 - 19:59

KABUL have been started from multiple sides, generating new hopes among the Afghans.

Peace talks between the US and the Taliban were suspended one and a half months earlier by US President Donald Trump after the insurgents attacked a foreign forces convey in capital Kabul.

One US service member, two NATO soldiers and some civilians were killed in the attack, prompting Trump to halt the peace talks after nine rounds in Qatar.

Following Trump’s decision, the Afghan government also announced suspending peace efforts due to elections.

Khalilzad’s efforts

Hopes for peace raised once again when US Special Representative for Peace and Reconciliation Zalmay Kahlilzad resumed his journey to some countries.

A statement from the State Department said on Monday the US negotiator would consult Russia, China and European allies on putting an end to the conflict in Afghanistan.

In Moscow, the diplomat will meet his Russian and Chinese counterparts to discuss shared interests in seeing the war in Afghanistan come to an end.

Before launching his latest peace offensive, Khalilzad met Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Mark A. Milley and other officials.

After the meeting, Khalilzad said a political settlement would help reduce the burden of war and protect the gains made in Afghanistan.

China gathering

Credible government and non-government sources say China has kicked off efforts at organizing a meeting on Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

The Chinese special envoy for Afghanistan is in Kabul and has met with different government officials and heads of political parties.

Another source told Pajhwok Afghan News that a 25-member group of Afghan politicians and a 15-member group of Afghan officials will take part in the Beijing meeting.

The gathering is scheduled for late October but government officials demand the gathering to be organised after the announcement of election result.

A well-placed Afghan source in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said that the Chinese government had asked the Taliban to participate in intra-Afghan talks which will be organised in Beijing.

The Taliban agreed to participate in the meeting and started work on agenda and other related issues of the meeting.

The Chinese government, however, has so far said nothing formally in this regard.

Afghan Government view

Presidential Spokesperson SediqSediqi said that the Afghan government and people wanted an honorable peace and was committed to obtaining this goal.

He said peace was President Ashraf Ghani’s priority and his government was committed to bringing peace and stability to the country.

He said real peace in the country could come if the initiative was led and owned by the Afghan government.

NDS spokesman Kabir Haqmal said the Afghan government was aware of the peace meeting in China and a discussion in this regard had started.

He said whenever the government took final decision in this regard, media persons would be informed.

Peace activists and politicians

Former presidential advisor Shahzada Masoud said that peace was their priority and any government coming into power next should keep peace as its priority.

Referring to the upcoming meeting in Beijing, he said China was an important country in the region and played a vital role in Afghanistan.

Peace activist Khalilullah Safi said that the Beijing meeting will be a consultative gathering similar to the Moscow meeting where the Afghan side and the Taliban participated and discussed issues in personal capacity.

The Taliban’s Qatar office has not yet spoken in this regard.


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