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EU hails consensus among key Afghans over peace parameters

AT-KABUL:  The Council of the European Union has adopted conclusions on Afghanistan, reaffirming its long-term commitment to supporting the Afghans in their path towards peace, security and prosperity.

The EU Council welcomed ‘the growing consensus among key Afghan, regional and international stakeholders on the parameters of a potential peace process, a statement from the EU delegation in Kabul said.

“The EU supports an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, with the Government and the Taliban at its core, as the only viable path towards a sustainable resolution of the armed conflict,” the statement said.

“To be successful, such a process shall lead to the renunciation of violence, the severing of all ties to international terrorism, the adherence to the rule of law and the full respect for the human rights of all Afghans.”

The Council urged all parties to the conflict, in particular the Taliban, to enter into formal peace negotiations and also welcomed Kabul’s recent initiatives such as the offer of talks without preconditions and the temporary ceasefire during this year’s Eid al-Fitr holiday, which was partially reciprocated by the Taliban.

The Council also recalled the EU’s support for political dialogue and economic cooperation between Afghanistan and neighbouring countries and the wider region, including Central Asian countries, through the establishment of networks and partnerships that develop sustainable connectivity.

About the October 2018 parliamentary elections, the EU said the vote showed a strong desire, as well as courage and resilience by the population, including women and youth, to participate in the democratic process.

“The EU commends the security forces for the sacrifices made which helped to enable elections to happen. The Council condemns the violence that marred these elections, in particular the attacks perpetrated on electoral operations.

The EU urged all countries to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan must never again be allowed to become an arena for proxy warfare by foreign actors. In this context, the EU calls on neighbouring countries to redouble efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations, and to eliminate safe havens for terrorist networks, fully respecting their obligations under international law, including international human rights law.”

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