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U.S., Russia Hail Afghan Gov’t Pledge for Release of Taliban Prisoners

The United States and Russia lauded the continued efforts of Afghanistan for creating an atmosphere for the intra-Afghan talks and achieving a lasting peace in the country.

Khairulbanat Sadat
16 Jun 2020
U.S., Russia Hail Afghan Gov’t Pledge for Release of Taliban Prisoners

Afghan, U.S. and Russian officials held a videoconference on Monday (June 15) to discuss the Afghan peace process, with a focus on early start of the intra-Afghan negotiations.

According to a statement issued by the Afghan Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, the acting foreign minister held a trilateral meeting with Ambassador Zamir Kabulov, a special presidential envoy of the Russian federation for Afghanistan and Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States’ special envoy for the Afghan peace.

Referring to a regional and international consensus, the participants of yesterday’s meeting agreed on the necessity of consensus and cooperation “as key to sustaining “to the success of the peace process,” according to the statement.

A number of political analysts, nevertheless, have addressed the meeting from different perspectives.

Some of those political experts were confident that the meeting was an important step toward the Afghan peace process and setting a stage for the direct talks between Afghan.

Highlighting the role of Russia in the Afghan peace process, Nasrullah Falak, a university lecturer acknowledged that Russia has had strong ties with the Taliban movement, and it has every so often supplied the group; thus, its role in the peace process can’t be denied.

The meeting can be an important step in forming a regional and international consensus for peace in Afghanistan, Mr. Falak said.

A number of other analysts, on the other hand, were of the opinion that all such meetings are dramatic and would not have any outcome.

Unless Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and the world commit genuinely to a peace process and ending the country’s longest-running war, such meetings wouldn’t have any achievements for the Afghan people, Wares Saighani, an Afghan political affairs analyst, said.

Sources close to the Taliban movement, however, noted the Afghanistan-U.S.-Russia trilateral conference as an important step in the Afghan peace process.

Sayed Akbar Agha, a former member of the Taliban group, told The Killid Group that the United States seemed to have Russia convinced to play a positive role in Afghanistan’s peace process.

The Afghan State Ministry for Peace Affairs, meanwhile, announced the government’s preparation for the intra-Afghan negotiations.

Najia Anwari, a spokeswoman for the state ministry, acknowledged that the relevant sides have agreed on a venue for the intra-Afghan peace talks, and thus, the Afghan government and the Taliban group will likely hold their first meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Under a peace agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban, the direct talks between Afghans were set to begin on March 10, but delayed since a key condition of the peace deal wasn’t fulfilled.

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