US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and EU envoy Roland Kobia, among other representatives from the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United Nations, met in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss peace in Afghanistan.
A statement from the group acknowledged that “a sustainable peace can only be achieved through a negotiated political settlement,” and, to achieve this, the US and European representatives pledged support for talks between the Afghan government, the Taliban and other Afghan political and civil society leaders.
The statement urged immediate steps to reduce violence and civilian casualties and called for a ceasefire while intra-Afghan peace talks take place.
While applauding the Afghans for participating in the recent election polling, the participants called on President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah to “focus immediately” on preparing “an inclusive, national negotiating team.”
The representatives insisted that the interests of women, youth and minorities be recognized in the settlement. Also, the Taliban must cuts ties with Daesh and other terrorist groups and prevent Afghanistan from being a safe haven for terrorists. Further, efforts should be made against government corruption and illicit drug production.
The statement referenced the Intra-Afghan Peace Conference in Doha, Qatar, which was held on July 7-8, 2019, and “stressed that any future intra-Afghan dialogues and peace conferences should build on the achievements of the intra-Afghan Peace Conference in Doha, be inclusive and respect the dignity of all Afghans.”
The participants acknowledged that the Afghan security forces will need continued support, and that Afghanistan in general will need assistance, and they looked forward to a conference in 2020 to discuss international aid.