Afghan political leaders and members of the High Peace Council (HPC) on Monday expressed hope and optimism that a renewed peace effort will emerge out of Tuesday’s Tashkent peace summit on Afghanistan.
Talking on the significance of the peace conference on Monday, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah expressed hope that the conference would lead to sustainable peace in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Shahhussain Murtazawi has said that one of the core components of the Tashkent summit will be to create a broader consensus among the region and in the world towards fighting terrorism and promoting the importance of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.
The Tashkent summit is expected to be attended by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, UN Special Envoy to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, as well as the foreign ministers of China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“The conference which is going to be held at a foreign ministers level has major importance. We hope that the conference proves helpful in meeting the aspirations of the people of Afghanistan,” said Abdullah.
“At the sideline of the meeting, the Afghan president will hold discussions with the president of Uzbekistan, head of the EU foreign policy, Russian foreign minister, assistant US secretary of state, and the British envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan,” said Murtazawi.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Afghanistan’s parliament are also hoping the Tashkent peace summit on Afghanistan will outline a comprehensive strategy to help end the war in the country.
“This conference indicates the concentration of the world and that the neighboring countries get involved in the affairs of Afghanistan,” said MP Muhaiyddin Mahdi.
“In the first step, the government needs to create a consensus on peace at a national level and then it must get regional and international consensuses,” MP Ghulam Hussain Naseri said.
According to Murtazawi, at the summit, Afghanistan will remind the international community that peace in Afghanistan will ensure international stability.
“We hope that a collective consensus is forged towards fighting terrorism, because terrorism is a threat to all countries,” added Murtazawi.
“Our expectation is that pressure must be put on those countries that try to harm Afghanistan so that they are forced to cooperate in the peace process in Afghanistan,” said High Peace Council spokesman Sayed Ehsan Tahiri.
Meanwhile, the US department of state has said that at the Tashkent summit, the international community will renew its commitment to peace in Afghanistan and to the resumption of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has also voiced support over the peace process in Afghanistan.
She said that the role of Central Asian countries is crucial in the peace process in the country.
This comes on the heels of the recent Kabul Process meeting where Afghan President Ashraf Ghani laid out a detailed peace offer to the Taliban.
The conference will be summed up by a Tashkent Declaration, that will reflect the main points of the discussion.
Uzbekistan hosted the first peace conference on Afghanistan in 1999.
On Sunday, Uzbek foreign minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and Afghan deputy minister of foreign affairs, Hekmat Khalil Karzai presided over a meeting of experts where they agreed on the draft final declaration of the Tashkent Declaration, which will be submitted for approval by the heads of delegations of the International Conference on High Level on Afghanistan "Peace Process, Cooperation in the Sphere of Security and Regional Cooperation", which is expected to open in Tashkent tomorrow.