Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani has said that his country is coordinating efforts with Russia to expedite the peace process in Afghanistan.
In a joint presser with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Doha on Monday, Qatar’s top diplomat said Doha is holding discussions with Moscow about creating a special communication point about Afghanistan.
Referring to the ongoing peace talks in Doha between the US and the Taliban, Al-Tahni said the only way to end the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan is diplomacy and political means.
“Regarding the talks of (the) Taliban and the US here in Doha, there are ongoing rounds in these talks. We have to always be optimistic and in the end, we need to bring peace to Afghanistan. What has been done in Russia is an opposition meeting, we are fully aware about (it) and we have our envoys coordinating and speaking with each other,” said Al-Thani.
Lavrov said that Moscow is monitoring the talks between the US and the Taliban. He said that Moscow is also undertaking efforts to attract the cooperation of Afghanistan’s neighbors towards peace.
“Special United States Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation (Zalmay) Khalilzad has meetings with my deputy from time to time; they have established a good contact, and I think this is very useful - not to try and compete in an artificial way, but to unite forces. Because both Russia and the US, as well as the countries neighboring Afghanistan and other countries, can help Afghans to start a national dialogue, which is the only thing that could lead to stopping this conflict,” he said.
Qatari official said his country welcomes everyone’s role in promoting stability in Afghanistan.
“We appreciate everyone’s role in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan because we believe that this is the benefit of everybody. At the end, the result and the peace cannot be brought by force or by war. It has to be brought by peace talks. And Qatar is continuing its role as a mediator in different conflicts and this is one of them that we hope will have successful outcome very soon,” he said.
The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who is leading the talks with the Taliban members for the fifth time in Qatar since his appointment last September, said on Feb. 28 that he had “productive” discussions with the group in Doha.
Taliban sources on Monday said the US and the Taliban negotiators have advanced towards reaching agreement on some key disputed issues.