Andreas von Brandt, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union in Afghanistan on Tuesday said that the Taliban has lost the opportunity to attend the upcoming Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, saying reduction in violence was the only option for the group to participate in the summit.
He said the surge in violence took the chance from the Taliban.
The EU envoy called on the Afghan government to ensure a serious fight against corruption in order to attain the commitments of the international community.
“I think it is very important to know that many of the players in Geneva have had contact with the Taliban and it is important that whoever wants to participate in the conference adheres to the criteria and the principles of human rights and of civility, so with the current high level of, extreme high level of violence, I don’t see it a good option to have the Taliban represented at the conference, but we have, I think all of us had reached out to them and had made sure that it could have been a possibility had the violence decrease, it could have been a good possibility to continue what has been talked about in Doha. Also in Geneva, it could have been a good opportunity to present themselves to the world, but I don’t see this happening now,” said the EU envoy.
The EU diplomat described the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan an important meeting at a critical juncture.
“The Afghanistan 2020 Conference is taking place at a very critical juncture. First of all, there is the pandemic and secondly, there is the peace talks. I think it is a very good sign that the conference is happening and I am very confident that the conference will have a major impact and will have a good result,” he said.
On corruption, he said: “The issue of corruption has to be tackled and has to be tackled more and in a decisive way because it is all about trust when it comes to fighting corruption. Citizens of Afghanistan will see that the funds that they are receiving from the international community are being used for their benefits.”
The 2020 Afghanistan Conference is the last pledging conference of the Transformation Decade (2015-24), which aims to take the country towards self-reliance, and is expected to renew international community and Afghan commitments to the development and stability of Afghanistan up to 2024, said a statement by event organizers.
The main conference will take place on November 24, with side events to discuss key challenges and accomplishments for Afghanistan occurring the day before.