(MENAFN - Daily Outlook Afghanistan) KABUL - The Afghan Foreign Ministry has welcomed the joint statement of Russia, China, the US, and Pakistan, also known as the Troika, issued following a day of discussions in Moscow.
The Ministry called the statement a step forward towards beginning serious negotiations for achieving peace based on the demands of the people of Afghanistan.
'Welcome joint statement of Troika+ talks in Moscow and share the call for ending hostilities and moving towards a peaceful settlement that preserves our sovereignty, unity, democracy, and equal rights of all Afghans, ' Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar said.
The Ministry also welcomed the statement's emphasis on the UN Security Council Resolution 2513 and 'consider its implementation important for holding the Taliban responsible and accountable for fulfilling their obligations, including ending violence and targeted killings and severing ties with terrorist organizations. As noted by the statement, Afghanistan's territory must not be used by individuals or terrorist groups to threaten the security of other countries.
The Afghan Government has always emphasized a peaceful settlement that can lead to a just and lasting peace, and on a free, independent, united, peaceful, democratic, and self-sufficient Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and its neighbors. We are delighted that this aspiration of the Afghan Government and people has also been reflected in the Moscow statement.
'We also support the statement's emphasis on a political solution that protects our citizen rights and affirm that the preservation of political, economic, and cultural achievements, including the human rights of citizens and democratic institutions, is the most important prerequisite for achieving a just and lasting peace in the country, the statement read.
'The Afghan Government welcomes the statement's candidness stating that: 'we do not support the restoration of the Islamic Emirate … and stresses upon the principle that the 'Islamic Republic is the only inclusive and acceptable structure for ensuring political participation, pluralism, citizen equality and preserving law and order in a diverse and pluralistic society like Afghanistan.
'While supporting the Moscow meeting's final statement, we reaffirm that the Government of the IRoA is committed to engaging in substantive and serious negotiations on key issues, including establishing a ceasefire and achieving a comprehensive political settlement that ends the war and brings about sustainable peace in the country.
'We support and commend the efforts of all countries in the region and the world to ensure peace in Afghanistan and acknowledge the significance of the United Nations' role in strengthening the peace process. We also wish to thank Qatar, Russia, and Turkey for hosting the talks, the statement concluded.
Moscow hosted a landmark peace summit in Moscow on Thursday which brought together representatives of the Afghan Republic and the Taliban, along with other key stakeholders, aimed at accelerating the peace process in Afghanistan.
The Troika in a joint statement on Thursday stated that they do not support the restoration of an Islamic Emirate.
'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, the statement said.
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. (ATN)
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