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Armed groups asked to join reconciliation process

Kabul hosts second quadrilateral meeting on peace

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The second quadrilateral coordination group meeting kicked off Monday in Kabul, with the message of the foreign minister to “all Taliban groups” to join peace process.

“We invite all Taliban groups to the peace negotiations in order to overcome the discrepancy through diplomacy and ensure the rightful and just desire of the Afghan people for lasting peace, strongly supported by members of this quadrilateral coordination group,” said Salahuddin Rabbani in his opening speech.

He said that any further delay regarding the talks would more isolate the militants.

Those who miss to join peace and reconciliation will indicate clearly that a sovereign, independent, stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan is not in their benefit, Rabbani said. “Their objectives are only terror and destruction. Therefore, our hope is that these groups will find also ways to collectively deal with those refusing to come to talks.”

He said that early restoration of peace in Afghanistan is the demand and desire of every Afghan citizen, and a precondition for peace in the wider region, especially in Pakistan, a neighboring country that has also not remained immune to the scourge of terrorism and violence.

“We are also encouraged specifically by the repeated strong commitment of the leadership of Pakistan during this time to cooperate with us on a range of issues, including counter-terrorism and facilitating a result-oriented peace and reconciliation process, the progress of which is to be effectively monitored by this Quadrilateral Coordination Group.”

The government and people of Afghanistan are confident that with the support of the United States and China as two vital members of the group, we will be able to launch an effective peace process that would generate the results we all seek in a timely manner, he noted.

While we understand achieving a lasting peace would require patience and determination, it is equally important to keep in mind that the Afghan public will not accept an open-ended process without tangible results. Therefore, as we move forward, the people of Afghanistan will judge our success by the sense of urgency we muster here today, he claimed.

He said that an effective roadmap may not focus so much on rigid pre-conditions but must provide redlines for strict compliance to ensure the integrity of a meaningful process and to honor the many sacrifices of the Afghan people.

I can state with utmost assurance that we, the people and Government of Afghanistan are prepared, as we have always been and as we have repeatedly stated, to enter into peace talks with the Taliban groups in good faith to reach a peaceful settlement, which respects the Afghan Constitution and the many hard-earned gains of the Afghan people over the past 14 years, especially the human rights of Afghan women and girls, he underlined.

Minister wished success for discussions to chart a result-oriented roadmap for peace that would, among other things, aim to result in resumption of talks soon and also address all possible obstacles inside and outside Afghanistan to peace and reconciliation.

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