UNSC welcomes Afghan peace talks in Doha
New York: Reaffirming its commitment to the “sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity” of Afghanistan, The United Nations Security Council today on September 18 welcomed the start of Afghanistan Peace Negotiations in Doha, Qatar, on 12 September 2020.
The UNSC statement came at the backdrop of the reports of fresh clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban in three districts of eastern Nangarhar province on September 17. Dozens were reported to be killed in the clashes for which Afghan Defence Minister Asadullah Khalid blamed the Taliban.
Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the peace process for the Afghan government, told media persons in Doha that the ongoing talks offered an opportunity to end the war.
This is for the first time in three decades that the two warring sides are at the negotiating table.
The 15-member Security Council recognized that a sustainable peace can be achieved only through a comprehensive and inclusive Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process that aims at a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, as well as an inclusive political settlement to end the conflict in Afghanistan. The members of the Security Council strongly encouraged parties to the negotiations to continue pursuing confidence-building measures, including reductions in violence, and to continue to engage in good faith.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the importance of the United Nations role in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan and welcomed the efforts of all regional and international partners of Afghanistan in facilitating intra-Afghan negotiations and in helping the parties reach peace. They also thanked the Government of Qatar for facilitating the first round of negotiations.
The members of the Security Council emphasized the importance of the implementation of its relevant resolutions, including resolution 2513 (2020).
Earlier, before the commencement of the dialogues, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan had highlighted the “historic opportunity” that these talks represent. “The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is fully intending to seize the opportunity to end the conflict through negotiations,” it had stated, and added that the Afghan Government was entering these talks with a spirit of goodwill and constructive intent, as evident in the release of the Taliban prisoners as a goodwill gesture to build confidence, that goes beyond the Afghan Government’s obligations.
The Afghan Government had urged the Taliban to reciprocate by agreeing on a ceasefire and agree to an immediate reduction of violence.
“The Government of Afghanistan shares the vision for an end state of peace talks where all Afghans, women and men, continue to thrive with their fundamental rights intact,” it had stated.
– globalbihari bureau