• publish: 11 September 2019
  • time: 2:12 pm
  • category: Excerpted
  • No: 10274
UN envoy:

Intra-Afghan peace talks must begin

Efforts for peace in Afghanistan should be accompanied by a reduction in violence, the United Nations envoy to the country said on Tuesday.

Referring to recent attacks by Taliban despite peace talks, Tadamichi Yamamoto said that trying to obtain the position of strength in negotiation cannot be an excuse for the escalation.

“The parties to the conflict must reduce violence and civilian casualties to demonstrate their seriousness for peace,” Yamamoto said addressing Security Council meeting in New York on Afghanistan.

The remarks come as US President Donald Trump cancelled talks with Taliban over the weekend after the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack in Kabul that killed an American soldier and 11 others.

The UN envoy acknowledged that the period just before coming to an agreement is the most difficult phase, yet he stressed on the importance of advancing efforts for delivering peace, concretely the start of intra-Afghan negotiations.

“Examples from past peace negotiations from around the globe show that as the prospect for substantive talks becomes real, the challenges will become greater,” Yamamoto said. “The final stages leading to the start of intra-Afghan talks become more difficult and require delicate handling.”

Meanwhile, Afghan envoy to UN Adela Raz called on the Taliban to end the “senseless violence”, show a true commitment to peace, and respect their pledge in the Doha Intra Afghan Peace Conference, of reducing civilian casualties to zero.

Russian envoy regretted the pause in talks between the US and the Taliban, saying a positive outcome would have unlocked promotion of peaceful national reconciliation and all-enccompassing Afghan settlement.

“We expect that the current situation will not protract the pause in U.S.-Taliban dialogue. We call upon the sides to get back to negotiations as soon as possible,” Vassily Nebenzia said reiterating Russia’s readiness to act as guarantor for deal.

Indian envoy said that peace and reconciliation cannot go forward in an atmosphere of terror.

“There is a surge of violence in Afghanistan in recent days, including threats to the election process itself. This has deepened apprehensions that acts of terror are being used to jockey for a place of advantage in the negotiating process,” Syed Akbaruddin said.

He said called on the international community to address the support and safe havens enjoyed from beyond Afghanistan’s borders by groups such as the Taliban, Haqqani network, Daesh and al Qaeda.

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