Andreas von Brandt, the European Union ambassador in Afghanistan, on Saturday urged the Taliban to take the upcoming UN-led conference on Afghanistan seriously and take the advantage of the historic opportunity if the group wants to have cooperation of the international community.
Speaking at a gathering in Kabul, the envoy said that the Afghan peace process has never been on top of the agenda as it has been in the last few weeks.
“I still hope that the Taliban will not miss this opportunity offered to them in Istanbul. Never I would say in the last five years has Afghanistan been again high on the agenda as it has been in recent weeks,” said the EU envoy.
The Turkey conference on Afghanistan is scheduled on April 24.
It is not confirmed whether the Taliban will attend the conference, but the group has said that it will not attend any conference until the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. US and NATO forces are set to leave Afghanistan in September.
At the same event, Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said that with the announcement of withdrawal of foreign troops from the country, no justification has been left for the Taliban to continue their violence.
“We have the capability and capacity to represent the great force that is the people of Afghanistan and represent them in the right way,” said Abdullah. “International cooperation will continue. This is the reality that we have to face.”