Representatives of the European Union (EU), France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the United States of America, post reviewing the Afghan peace process, urged all sides to observe a ceasefire for the duration of Intra-Afghan Negotiations. While the discussion was being held in Brussels, the representatives emphasised on taking concrete steps to ensure that the land of Afghanistan does not get captured by any International terrorist organisations that possess a threat to the national security of other countries.
After President Donald Trump broke off negotiations with the Taliban in September 2019, the future of talks between the parties at war i.e. the US, Taliban, and Afghanistan appeared to be in limbo. However, the meeting in Brussels has once again put the focus back on a possible dialogue. The representatives also acknowledged the widespread and sincere demand of the people from Afghanistan asking for lasting peace and to put an end to the war. The end, which could only be achieved through a negotiated political settlement between all the parties.
Expressing concerns over casualties on civilians, the top officials also stressed upon building an 'environment conducive for peace' as violence would never help achieve the goal of sustainable development in the region. They emphasised that the Taliban must cut ties with al-Qaida and other international terrorist groups and that neither the Taliban nor any other Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country, as standing against terrorism is the only way forward.
The participants also called on President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and other prominent Afghan leaders to immediately focus on preparing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for formal Intra-Afghan Negotiations with the Taliban adding to finalise the names for the national negotiating team that should be inclusive. The participation of representatives of the Government of Afghanistan, political leaders, Taliban, and civil society was the key to the peace process and exclusion of any of them would not help in securing long-lasting peace, they said.
The results of the Presidential elections in Afghanistan are expected to come shortly. During the polls, the nation witnessed deadliest attacks of its kind which also affected voting participation. The preliminary results of the polls were expected to be out by now, but it is said that counting is still underway. Taliban had boycotted the election saying that it was a shame to bring back the incumbent President Ashraf Ghani to power. However, Ghani has said that he was ready to talk to the Taliban if he came back to power.