Taliban leader calls on US for honesty in negotiations

Taliban leader calls on US for honesty in negotiations

Maulvi Haibatullah Akhundzada, Afghan Taliban chief, stressed on his previous stance about an end to the presence of the US military in Afghanistan and said they expect “honesty” from the United States. This is reported by the Afghan television channel Tolo News.

Akhundzada called for unity and harmony among Afghans to “end the occupation and strengthen an Islamic system”. The Taliban leader also said the group is open for talks but called on the United States to “honestly” engage in the ongoing peace talks and accept “the Islamic emirate’s reasonable plan” to move the process forward.

Also, he said the Taliban has continued to create a consensus among neighboring and regional countries in its favor and their participation in Moscow conference is an example of this “success”. The Taliban chief said, “the Islamic emirate is not seeking to monopolize power but it wants all Afghans to have their real role in “government”.

Earlier, representatives of the Afghan public and political forces, including Taliban movement leader Mullah Baradar from Doha office, came to Moscow, visied Russia for participation in the conference marking 100 years of diplomatic ties between Russia and Afghanistan, on the sidelines of which consultations between the delegations were held.

Taliban representatives have been talking with US diplomats for months about withdrawing US and NATO coalition troops in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used as a base for attacks. But so far there have been no signs of a ceasefire agreement and steady progress on key issues.

Most likely, the reason is that there are no direct talks between the Taliban and Afghan government. The parties cannot yet overcome the alienation caused by the many years of military confrontation.

In the current situation, the US military made statements about the untimely withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Thus, in a certain sense, the parties returned to their initial positions, with the only difference being that they now have experience in negotiating. It may not be very successful, but experience is always better than its absence.

The parties have repeatedly stated that they understand the impossibility of achieving victory over each other and solving the Afghan issue by military means. It allows us to hope that, the parties would look for opportunities to agree, or in any case, not to avoid negotiations, taking into consideration the futility of military confrontation.

Finally, Qatar as a mediator in negotiations played a big role, especially in promoting the negotiation process between the US representatives and the Taliban. It is not excluded that the change in the format of negotiations may give impetus to the progress of inter-Afghan dialogue. This could be facilitated by the involvement of other mediators in the negotiation process.

In this case, we mean the neighboring states of Afghanistan in the Central Asian region – Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. These countries are vitally interested in a peaceful settlement of inter-Afghan conflict, and they will do their best to bring a peace to Afghanistan. In other words, there is still a time, it is not too late to gather around negotiating table.