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BRICS Ministers reiterate support to Afghan-owned peace process

AT News Report

KABUL: Representatives of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have reiterated support to the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process—an effort which is underway for a political settlement to Afghan conflict through negotiations with Taliban members.  

Ministers of the BRICS countries gathered in Rio de Janeiro Friday to discuss arrangements for the eleventh summit of the bloc, scheduled for November 13-14 in the capital, Brazil.

At the meeting, the ministers reiterated support for international and national efforts to achieve an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process and to build a peaceful, secure, united, stable, prosperous and inclusive country that exists in harmony with its neighbors, a joint statement of the summit reads.

They expressed their concern over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan particularly the increase in the number and intensity of terrorist-related attacks on the Afghan National Security Forces, the Government and civilians, the statement said.

They looked forward to the Presidential elections scheduled for September 2019, the statement added.

The ministers agreed to further deepen BRICS three-pillar-driven cooperation in the areas of economy, peace and security and people-to-people exchanges.

The ministers reaffirmed the commitment to upholding and respecting international law and to an international system in which sovereign States cooperate to maintain peace and security, advance sustainable development and ensure the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

The call for Afghan-owned peace process as come when Taliban delegation, led by Abdul Ghani Baradar, have left Qatar for Indonesia on Friday morning, the militant movement’s mouthpiece said. A Taliban Spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, in a brief statement said that at the head of an eight-member team, Mullah Baradar would hold talks with Indonesian officials.

The negotiations between the two sides would largely revolve around bolstering political relations, peace efforts and cooperation on Afghanistan’s future, he added.

The visit comes ahead of the eighth round of peace parleys between the Taliban and the United States in Doha.

US special envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has recently said he had ‘productive discussions’ with government leaders “on where they are on the Afghan peace process.”

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