Troika urges Taliban not to pursue a spring offensive
By Monitoring DeskFriday – March 19, 2021
According to a press release, Moscow hosted a regular meeting of the extended “Troika” comprising representatives of Russia, China, the United States of America (USA) and Pakistan, which focused on making progress in the intra-Afghan process to reach a negotiated settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.
In the spirit of the discussions, as well as provisions of joint statements on the outcomes of previous “Troika” meetings held on March 22, April 25, July 11 and October 25, 2019, online conferences held on June 3 and November 30, 2020, the four states participating in the extended “Troika” have agreed as follows:
We acknowledge the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for a lasting and just peace and an end to the war and confirm that a sustainable peace can only be achieved through a negotiated political settlement.
We call on all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to reduce the level of violence in the country and on the Taliban not to pursue a spring offensive, so as to avoid further casualties and to create an environment conducive to reaching a negotiated political settlement.
As stated in the United Nations (UN) Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2513 (2020), we do not support the restoration of the Islamic Emirate and we call on the Government of the Islamic Republic and the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) to engage openly with their Taliban counterparts regarding a negotiated settlement.
We urge participants in the intra-Afghan negotiations to engage immediately in discussions on fundamental issues to resolve the conflict, including the foundations of the future peaceful and stable Afghan State, the content of a political roadmap leading to an inclusive government, and the modalities of a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. At this pivotal moment, our four states call on the parties to negotiate and conclude a peace agreement that will bring an end to over four decades of war in Afghanistan.
We strongly advocate a durable and just political resolution that will result in the formation of an independent, sovereign, unified, peaceful, democratic and self-sufficient Afghanistan, free of terrorism and an illicit drug industry, which contributes to the creation of pull factors for the voluntary, sustainable and expeditious return of Afghan refugees, stability and global security.
We call on all Afghans including the Government of the Islamic Republic and the Taliban to ensure that terrorist groups and individuals do not use Afghan soil to threaten the security of any other country.
We reaffirm that any peace agreement must include protections for the rights of all Afghans, including women, men, children, victims of war, and minorities, and should respond to the strong desire of all Afghans for economic, social and political development including the rule of law.
We encourage all concerned countries to support the Afghan people and contribute to a lasting peace in the interest of all. We reaffirm our commitment to mobilise international political and economic support for a post political settlement Afghanistan.
We appreciate the long-standing support of the State of Qatar to facilitate the peace process, and we support the continuation of discussions between the parties’ negotiating teams in Doha, which began in September 2020 and which have resulted in meaningful progress toward a political settlement.
We recognise and welcome all international efforts that are underway to facilitate and support a negotiated settlement as soon as possible. We note that the UN secretary general António Gutteres’ appointment of Jean Arnault as his personal envoy on Afghanistan and regional issues. We welcome the UN playing a positive and constructive role on the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.
The event was attended by representatives of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s HCNR, prominent Afghan political figures, and representatives of the Taliban movement, as well as Qatar and Turkey as guests of honour.