• publish: 15 March 2021
  • time: 4:48 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 17233

Afghan envoy: Peace talks should rotate among countries

Afghan peace talks in Doha should be rotated to other venues, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Javid Ahmad said in an interview with Reuters.

Ahmad told Reuters peace talks should not be held in one fixed location, but rotate among venues in Europe, Asia, the Middle East or Afghanistan itself.

The Taliban, which opened an office in Qatar in 2013, was too “comfortable” there, he said. “We want the Taliban to get out of their comfort zone.”

“The Qataris could have used its role as a host to play a more active and decisive role in pushing the Taliban to reduce violence or declare a ceasefire,” Ahmad said.

“They have not properly used their leverage, as a host to the Taliban …, to push the group’s leaders to declare a ceasefire or to visibly reduce violence.”

Reuters reported that Qatar’s state communications office did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment however Qatar foreign ministry special envoy Mutlaq al-Qahtani told Reuters last month the Gulf state wanted to see a reduction in violence in Afghanistan that could lead to continued peace and security.

Russia will hold a conference on Afghanistan this week, while Turkey hosts talks next month as the United States seeks to shake up the process, proposing an interim Afghan government.

Ahmad meanwhile said that the only way to achieve a transition of power was through elections. The Taliban have said they are committed to the peace negotiations, Reuters reported.

Peace talks started between the Afghan Republic and the Taliban in September last year but in the months that followed little was achieved and negotiations are widely considered “stalled” at the moment. 

Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration signed a troop withdrawal deal with the Taliban in February 2020 under which all international forces were expected to leave the country by May 1.

However, violence has risen and NATO officials say some conditions of the deal, including the Taliban cutting ties with international militant groups, have not been met, which the Taliban disputes.

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