By: Lailuma Noori
US special peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has left Doha for Dushanbe for talks with Tajik officials on Afghanistan peace process. In his meeting with Tajik officials, various dimensions of current situation in Afghanistan particularly intra-Afghan talks, key regional and international issues have been discussed.
In the meeting, Tajik President has said that his country is supporting Afghanistan government position in connection with maintaining security and stability. He welcomed the start of intra-Afghan talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban in Doha.
Both sides have stressed on need for consolidation and strengthening cooperation in the field of counter terrorism, extremism, counter narcotics and all other organized crimes. Tajik President has expressed concern over security of borders between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
Tajikistan has said that it will make continued effort to play key role in addressing problems of Afghanistan and its reconstruction, economic and social development by using all the capacities and opportunities.
US special peace envoy has also met with Tajik head for government security committee. In the meeting, both sides have discussed the start of intra-Afghan talks and its importance on maintaining peace and security in Afghanistan as well as its impacts on the region and neighboring countries.
Previously, Zalmay Khalilzad had said that he would make effort to strengthen regional consensus on Afghanistan peace process.
Currently, Tajikistan has had key presence in regional and international stages; therefore, its partnership in Afghanistan peace process can be another key role for this Central Asian country. Most parts of areas bordering Tajikistan are mountainous with 1,344 km and Tajikistan has particular attention to security of the respective areas.
In 2013, Taliban with the help of foreign fighters made continued effort to create a base in Afghanistan’s north. It is said that more than 10,000 foreign fighters mostly Tajik citizens are fighting along with Taliban in the country’s north. Increasing presence of foreign fighters has made Tajikistan play role in bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Tajikistan is one of the members of the Commonwealth Independent States (CIS) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO); therefore, coordination of anti-terrorism national policies is very important for Dushanbe.
In recent years, Tajikistan has made continued effort to prove its role and cooperation in connection with maintaining security and stability in Afghanistan. For the past two decades, Afghanistan has also made effort to convince Taliban for direct talks to end war and violence in the country. This comes after the start of intra-Afghan talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban negotiating teams in Qatar. Talks between the two sides have entered to its third week, but no progress has made in the discussion.