The US chargé d'affaires in Kabul, Ross Wilson, on Twitter Wednesday wrote that the US is 'not advocating' an interim government in Afghanistan.
“We have not advocated, and the US is not advocating, an interim government. The outcomes of Afghanistan peace negotiations are up to Afghans and we believe those outcomes should reflect the wishes and aspirations of the Afghan people,” Wilson said.
He also said that the US is committed to "bringing about an end to conflict in Afghanistan through a political settlement that ensures this country remains sovereign, unified and democratic, is at peace with itself and its neighbors and can preserve gains made over the last 19 years."
“The first phase of Afghanistan peace negotiations in Doha constituted an important step forward, but much remains to be done,” Wilson said, adding "the US remains firm in its call for an immediate reduction of violence and ceasefire,” he wrote.
Wilson also mentioned that the US peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and he talked and “will continue to talk with Afghans about the need to accelerate the talks in Doha and solicited from those we have met their ideas, as well as their concerns.”
Khalilzad discussed the prospect of an interim government in Afghanistan as a result of the peace process, said sources close to the Afghan politicians who recently met Khalilzad.
According to the sources familiar with the process, Khalilzad in his meetings with the Afghan politicians apparently talked about three options: First, the continuation of the present government and the inclusion of the Taliban in the govt. Second, the inclusion of the government in the structure of a Taliban-led government. Third, the option to establish an interim and inclusive government.
According to the sources, the Afghan political leaders reportedly told Khalilzad that the establishment of an interim government was the appropriate option to end the war in Afghanistan.
Khalilzad arrived in Kabul last week and met with senior Afghan political leaders including Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council of National Reconciliation, former President Hamid Karzai, former mujahideen leader Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar and National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib.
President Ashraf Ghani refrained from meeting Khalilzad during his recent tour.
Ghani, referring to the recent rumors about the establishment of an interim government as an outcome of a peace process with the Taliban, said that the Afghan people do not support the dissolution of democracy and that his main duty as president is to peacefully transfer the power to his successor according to the law.
Speaking a public gathering in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan on January 6, Ghani said that the present political system needs to be protected and the power must be transferred peacefully and legally.
“This seat is not mine, this seat (presidency) belongs to the nation of Afghanistan, this system has dignity, you all voted for me,” said Ghani.
“If the objective of the Taliban is to dominate and give us the peace of the grave, that will have very negative consequences,” he said.
Rumors about the interim government were also debated in a session of the Meshrano Jirga.
The Taliban have so far not announced their official position about the establishment of an interim government in Afghanistan. However, the group in the past has said that the talks on the future government will be among their top priorities during the talks.