• publish: 7 October 2020
  • time: 12:34 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 15644
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Khalilzad: patience is needed to resolve a 40-year war

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Tuesday that both sides to the peace process need to find a way where there is neither a winner nor a loser in attaining peace.

He said the Taliban “will not take over the government instead they will be part of it and all parties should be part of the government as it should be a comprehensive government.”

Speaking to Radio Azadi, Khalilzad said: “Talks need patience,” adding that one cannot predict how long it will take to resolve a 40-year-old conflict, but that it needs to end sooner rather than later. 

“Having patience, accepting each other, and finding a formula that is acceptable by both sides and is applicable,” he said. 

“It needs work; both sides should be ready to find a way where there is neither a winner nor a loser and the real winner should be the people of Afghanistan so that their long-term war, with, unfortunately, a large number of Afghans being killed or wounded every day, should end.”

He said one of the major obstacles in the way of progress is the high level of violence, which “fuels distrust between the two sides.”

“We are in favor of reducing violence and we also encouraged during the meetings in Doha that the violence should be reduced,” he said. 

He pointed out that the two sides have yet to reach an agreement on the framework of talks.

Khalilzad said the US has emphasized to all parties that US policy for Afghanistan in future would have a direct link to the decision taken by the negotiating teams on the structure of a new political system that respects the will of all Afghans. He said this decision also pertained to the financial assistance the US would provide in future. 

Khalilzad’s discussion came after a day of high-level meetings and discussions between Afghan officials, negotiating team members, Afghan media representatives, President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban in Doha on issues around the peace talks. 

While Ghani met with Qatar officials and members of the Afghan peace talks team he did not meet with the Taliban. However, members of the Afghan media did meet with the Taliban.

In a press briefing on Tuesday night, Acting Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar said the two main obstacles at the moment, which has resulted in a deadlock in talks, were the issue of jurisprudence and political agreement. 

He said: “The two primary issues are critical for rules of procedure to move the peace talks further.

“I hope that all the parties will be able to make a final agreement, bringing peace for the Afghan people.”

Atmar then said the Afghan government is pursuing three objectives at the moment to achieve peace.

“The first objective is to remove the obstacles in the way of reaching the rules of procedure for the peace process.

“The second objective is to have a reduction in violence, and finally, to have a complete ceasefire,” he said adding that this is a legitimate desire of all Afghans.

“Reduction in violence was promised to the people during the peace agreement,” signed in Doha in February between the United States and the Taliban. 

“It is necessary to establish a special mechanism to monitor the level of violence, and the two sides have to take effective measures to address the reasons behind the violence.

“The third objective of the Afghan government is to make sure that the peace negotiations lead to an agreement of political settlement, which would establish a permanent ceasefire,” he said.

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