By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: The European Union and India have both called for an immediate ceasefire in Afghanistan and said an effective and unconditional cessation of hostilities is essential for creating the appropriate conditions for meaningful peace talks to continue.
Following a meeting between the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell and India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on the sidelines of the G7 meeting in London, the two diplomats said in a joint statement that “a successful peace process requires the Taliban to engage in good faith, with a serious commitment towards finding a political solution. Both sides reiterated the importance of ensuring that the soil of Afghanistan should not be used by terrorist groups to threaten the security of India and the EU”.
Both sides also condemned in the strongest terms all terrorist activities and reaffirmed their strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing, the dismantling of terrorist infrastructures and countering radicalisation, to ensure that Afghanistan is never again a safe haven for international terrorism.
They also reaffirmed the commitment of both sides to continue to cooperate, based on their shared interests and values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights, on international and regional issues of common interest on Afghanistan, and to support the country in its path towards peace, security, self-reliance and prosperity.
Calling for respecting and protecting the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, they reaffirmed their strong and continued support to an inclusive, Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process.
In addition they stated “any political settlement in Afghanistan must protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women, youth and minorities, and build upon the economic, social, political and development gains achieved since 2001 under a democratic constitutional framework.”
Borrell and Jaishankar reiterated that the nature of the peace settlement and its outcome will shape the future of international support and assistance.
They are jointly and firmly “condemned the unacceptable level of violence perpetrated against the national forces of Afghanistan and civilians and the targeted assassinations of civil rights activists, media persons and Ulema.”
Reaffirming that security in Afghanistan is intrinsically linked with security in the region, Borrell and Jaishankar agreed upon the need for Afghanistan’s neighbors and regional stakeholders to be active and honest facilitators in promoting a lasting, stable and peaceful resolution of the conflict.