Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who is part of the national unity government established after 2014 controversial elections, once again lambasted Taliban for their refusal to talk with the Afghan government, saying that the efforts of the Taliban have been for “concession” not for having “real talks”.
“The main and the only reason behind the war is obstinacy of the Taliban who are not ready for real talks. The steps that they (Taliban) have taken have been for propaganda and concession, not for goodwill or for real and serious negotiations,” Abdullah said as he addressed the Council of Ministers’ meeting on Monday.
He said the involved parties in the Afghan peace process should show some sort of “flexibility” in order to continue the process. He added that the past years' achievements should not be sacrificed in the process.
“Peace wants sacrifice but dreams of the people should not be sacrificed. It means that this land belongs to all Afghans and all have the right to live in a feeling of peace with dignity,” he said.
Abdullah’s remarks are expressed amid the start of US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s another multi-nation trip for Afghan peace. This time, the US envoy will lead an interagency delegation to Belgium, Germany, Turkey, Qatar, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from February 10 – 28, according to the US Department of State.
Sources close to Taliban said that this time, the talks will be held between the US special envoy and Taliban representatives led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was released from Pakistan’s prison last month. The sources said the two sides will discuss the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan and a possible ceasefire.
“I think that issues on which the two sides’ teams are working on them will be on the table and a decision will be made on them,” said Nazar Mohammad Motmaen, a political affairs analyst.
A spokesman for the High Peace Council, Assadullah Zaeri, said they hope that this round of US-Taliban talks will bring the group to the table of negations with the Afghan government.
“We hope that this round of talks will bring a timeline for talks between the Afghan government negotiators and Taliban representatives,” Zaeri said.