By: Lailuma Noori
The two-day intra-Afghan dialogue, attended by nearly 60 delegates from Afghanistan’s civil society, women rights organization, political parties and 17 representatives of Taliban group, was held in Doha, capital city of Qatar on Sunday and Monday.
Participants at the meeting focused on identification and prioritizing key issues and creation of a roadmap for management of peace talks.
On first day of the meeting, Qatar’s special envoy of the minister of foreign affairs ambassador Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani said: “The conflict in Afghanistan can only be solved through a peaceful resolution, not a military one. The Afghan dispute first depends on Afghans themselves and this meeting is between Afghans and have always said that Afghans can find solution for the dispute. We’re only helping Afghans reach agreement to end the ongoing war in the country.”
Al-Qahtani stated that the Intra-Afghan talks marked a milestone in the pursuit of peace in Afghanistan. He stressed that Qatar’s leadership, people and government will remain a force of peace, love and cooperation with the Afghan people, the international community and other peace-loving peoples.
US special peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad was also present on the first day of the intra-Afghan dialogue. He hoped that the meeting would open new door for peace in Afghanistan.
“All have been persuaded to make use of the opportunity. The people of Afghanistan want peace and it is the responsibility of those participating in the meeting to take advantage of the opportunity for ending the ongoing war in Afghanistan and this meeting is a good start for Afghanistan,” Khalilzad said.
Khalilzad is holding US-led peace talks with the Taliban in Doha. In a tweet, he has reported progress on all the issues discussed, especially the four aspects of the peace agreement, namely the existence of safeguards against terrorism, the withdrawal of troops, participation in Afghan internal dialogue and negotiations, and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the intra-Afghan conference for peace in the Qatari capital Doha has been a long time coming and it is great to see senior government, civil society, women and Taliban representatives at one table together. He said all Americans should be glad to see Afghans sitting with Afghans to begin the tough task of ending their country’s conflict and building a shared future together.
The two-day intra-Afghan dialogue was also attended by a number of officials of Afghanistan government, but it is said that the officials are not representing the government. Matin Beg, head of Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), and head of Independent Administration Reforms and Civil Service Commission Nadir Nadiri were key officials of Afghanistan government participating the meeting.
It is worth mentioning that the two-day Intra-Afghan peace talks started on Sunday under Qatari-German auspices, bringing together dozens of Afghan politicians and civil society activists, as part of efforts to support the peace process in Afghanistan.