By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: In an interview with FRANCE 24’s Marc Perelman, Afghanistan’s Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah spoke about the upcoming peace talks with the Taliban to be held in Turkey in April. He expressed hope for “significant progress”.
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah says the agreement was “conditional”. “Taliban haven’t observed their commitment in terms of reduction in violence,” he points out.
He also said that the upcoming conference in Turkey is a unique opportunity for peace and that he hopes it will help form an agreement on ceasefire in the country.
“My hope is, my desire is, that we make maximum use of every opportunity which is there. Turkey will be a unique opportunity after quite a while, but it depends on both sides. I cannot call all the shots,” Abdullah said. “As far as our delegation which will participate … they will go with the firm resolve to contribute to the success of that process so the Turkey meeting will be considered a big step forward,” Abdullah said in the interview.
Abdullah said that the US-proposed peace draft has been shared with Afghan leaders and that he has not rejected the idea of a participatory setup. “We have not rejected the idea of power-sharing arrangement. We are ready to talk about it. And the next proposal, whether it is acceptable to the Taliban or not, of course, that remains to be seen. And if Taliban agree for early elections, we’re ready for that,” Abdullah said.
This comes as US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has departed for Turkey–and the region–in a push to encourage Afghan parties to accelerate negotiations to end conflict in the country, the US State Department said on Saturday as quoted by Reuters.
The Turkey conference is expected to be held in early April. So far, the Afghan government and the Taliban have not stated who will represent them at the summit.