By: The Kabul Times
Russia, China, the US and Pakistan, also known as the Troika, on Thursday called on the Taliban to not pursue a Spring offensive and said they do not support the restoration of an Islamic Emirate.
Following a day of discussions in Moscow on accelerating the peace process in Afghanistan, the Troika stated they had agreed on a number of points.
In a joint statement issued by the four countries, they stated they acknowledge the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for a lasting and just peace and an end to the war and “confirm that a sustainable peace can only be achieved through a negotiated political settlement.”
“We call on all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to reduce the level of violence in the country and on the Taliban not to pursue a Spring offensive, so as to avoid further casualties and to create an environment conducive to reaching a negotiated political settlement.
Citing the UN Security Council resolution 2513 (2020), the Troika said they do not support the restoration of the Islamic Emirate and called on the Afghan government and the High Council for National Reconciliation to engage openly with their Taliban counterparts regarding a negotiated settlement.
“We urge participants in the intra-Afghan negotiations to engage immediately in discussions on fundamental issues to resolve the conflict, including the foundations of the future peaceful and stable Afghan State, the content of a political roadmap leading to an inclusive government, and the modalities of a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.”
“At this pivotal moment, our four states call on the parties to negotiate and conclude a peace agreement that will bring an end to over four decades of war in Afghanistan,” the statement read.
They also said they strongly advocate a durable and just political resolution with will result in an independent, sovereign, unified and peaceful Afghanistan “free of terrorism and an illicit drug industry”.
They also called on both the Afghan government and the Taliban to ensure no terrorist groups nor individuals use Afghan soil to threaten the security of any other country.
The Troika also stated: “We reaffirm that any peace agreement must include protections for the rights of all Afghans, including women, men, children, victims of war and minorities.” All concerned countries were also encouraged to support the Afghan people and to contribute to a lasting peace.
“We reaffirm our commitment to mobilize international political and economic support for a post political settlement in Afghanistan,” the statement read.
The Troika also acknowledged Qatar for its support of the peace process and said they were in support of the continuation of discussions between the negotiating teams in Doha.
In conclusion, they stated they welcome all international efforts that are underway to facilitate and support a negotiated settlement as soon as possible.
“We note that the UN Secretary General Gutteres’ appointment of Mr. Jean Arnault as his personal envoy on Afghanistan and regional issues. We welcome the UN playing a positive and constructive role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.”
Thursday’s event was attended by representatives of the Afghan government, the Taliban, prominent Afghan political figures and Qatar and Turkey representatives, who were guests of honor.
The US Special Representative for National Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad also attended the meeting, which is the first of two such summits planned.
The next landmark meeting will be held in Turkey next month – which is in line with Washington’s push for a political settlement as soon as possible.