Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, in an address to Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey on Friday called on the Taliban to engage in talks, reiterating that there is a “real opportunity” for peace in the country that should be utilized.
“There is a real opportunity for peace, and it is our collective obligation to make the most of it,” Abdullah said. “The Afghan crisis has no military solution; hence I urge the Taliban to engage in good faith in talks and negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as soon as possible and help bring an end to the violence.”
Abdullah said that the world spent 20 years in Afghanistan, not only to contain terrorism but also prevent a breeding ground from re-emergence.
“We are thankful for that generous and costly global endeavor. We are now at a point where we not only need to end our internal conflict through political means, but we still need to be vigilant and assure resilience as well as containment as part of a paradigm shift that can assure peace and an acceptable and inclusive end-state for the people of Afghanistan,” he said.
This comes as violence has intensified following the start of the withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Afghanistan. A parliamentary committee on Thursday reported fighting on 200 fronts across the country in just a day. Moreover, at least 30 districts have fallen to the Taliban in the last two months.
The negotiations in Doha have stalled after the announcement of the withdrawal of US and coalition forces by President Biden. The negotiating teams from the Afghan Republic and the Taliban held a meeting later this week, discussing ways to hold future meetings, but the high level of violence has diminished hopes for a progress in the negotiations.
Moreover, top Pentagon officials on Thursday said that militant groups like al Qaeda could pose a threat from Afghanistan to the United States and American allies in two years after the full withdrawal of international troops from the country.
While in Turkey, Abdullah met with foreign ministers of Iran and Pakistan.
In meeting with Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Abdullah said they exchanged views on the Afghan peace process, intra-Afghan talks, the latest political and security developments, and the two countries bilateral relations.
Abdullah said in another tweet that he had a “detailed and frank discussion” with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and that they exchanged views on the peace process and bilateral relations.
Abdullah said that Qureshi assured him of “Pakistan’s full support for the acceleration of peace talks and stability in Afghanistan.”