United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has written to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani proposing a peace conference facilitated by the United Nations (UN) with representatives from six nations including India to discuss a “unified approach to supporting peace in Afghanistan”. Blinken in a letter sent to Ghani on Sunday said that Turkey will be approached to host a senior-level meeting of both sides in the upcoming weeks to finalise a peace agreement. The US Secretary of State urged Ghani or his “authoritative designees” to attend the meeting.
According to the letter published by TOLO News, Blinken said that the Geneva-based organisation should convene a meeting with foreign ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the US to discuss approaches to support peace in the war-torn country, Afghanistan. Reportedly, it also said that the US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad should share with Ghani as well as the leaders of the extremist group, Taliban written proposals "aimed at accelerating discussions on a negotiated settlement and ceasefire. These proposals reflect some of the ideas included in the roadmap for the peace process".
Blinken also said that such documents will help the Afghanistan government and the Taliban to proceed towards developing principles that will further guide the country’s constitutional and governing arrangements and develop a road map to a new, inclusive government while also developing the terms of a permanent ceasefire.
The US Secretary of State stated that a revised proposal for a 90-day reduction-in-violence has aven been prepared in a bid to prevent a “spring offensive” by the Taliban and also to “coincide with diplomatic efforts to support a political settlement between the two parties." Blinken reportedly also wrote towards the conclusion of his letter that “We are considering the full withdrawal of our forces by May 1, as we consider other option" before pointing out the “urgency of my [his] tone regarding the collective work outlined” in the text.