AT News Report
KABUL: The United States believed 2019 held the promise to be a year for peace in Afghanistan. “Washington was committed to using its influence with all interested parties to make 2019 a year for peace in close consultation with the Afghan government,” said top US official.
Ambassador Jonathan Cohen, briefing UN Security Council on the current situation in Afghanistan said that the US was doing all it could to support preparations for a credible election and encourage the Afghan government to continue preparations for the presidential vote.
He called for drawing lessons from the parliamentary elections and previous cycles.
Cohen explained the Trump administration sought a comprehensive peace deal, not a withdrawal agreement. The deal should guarantee that Afghanistan never again becomes a platform for transnational terrorism and that would codify an intra-Afghan consensus on a political roadmap for the future of the country.
According to him, the US was pressing for an end to Afghans killing other Afghans – and specifically for the Taliban to implement a ceasefire or major reduction in violence.
“We would prefer to see a peace agreement that brings the Taliban into the political process and facilitates a political framework for the future of Afghanistan. However, even if there is no progress on the peace track, elections need to take place.
“Also, we’ve called on Afghanistan’s neighbours to lend their cooperation, participation, and facilitation to assist Afghans to come to the peace table and to make an honorable, just peace with each other,” the envoy said.