US warns Taliban against military takeover in Afghanistan

After int’l meeting for peace in Afghanistan, US peace broker says gov’t imposed by force to be considered ‘pariah’ state

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – Washington’s top peace broker for Afghanistan on Friday reiterated that the US demanded an immediate end to Taliban attacks against cities and an agreement on a political settlement.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad warned in a series of tweets that a government in Afghanistan imposed by force will be considered as a “pariah” state.

“After two days of intense consultations & discussions with the Afghan negotiating teams, Qatar, as chair, issued a Chairman’s Statement on behalf of regional and international stakeholder,” he said, sharing the declaration that called for accelerating the peace process.

This came as the Taliban have advanced into provincial capitals one after another after overrunning more than 200 rural and suburban districts.

The participants in the international meeting on Afghanistan, including representatives from China, Uzbekistan, the US, Pakistan, UK, Qatar, UN, and EU agreed that the peace process needs to be accelerated as a matter of “great urgency” on the basis of the negotiations of concrete proposals from both sides.

Via a nine-point declaration, they urged both sides (the Afghan government and the Taliban) to take steps to build trust and accelerate efforts to reach a political settlement and comprehensive cease-fire as quickly as possible.

They also called for a stop to violence and attacks immediately in and against provincial capitals and other cities.

“Participants reaffirmed that they will not recognize any government in Afghanistan that is imposed through the use of military force,” said the declaration issued in Doha.

The three-day meeting was held on Aug. 10-12.

Reacting to this, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said Abdullah Abdullah, the country’s top peace negotiator, and his team raised with the international community the grave concerns of the government and people of Afghanistan over the Taliban’s “brutal” attacks on cities, which have led to war crimes and blatant human rights violations and humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan reiterates that the continuation of the Taliban’s bloody attacks in collusion with regional and international terrorists will not only lead to a humanitarian catastrophe and the protraction of war in Afghanistan, but also exacerbate violent extremism and incite terrorists in the region posing a serious and irreparable threat to the collective security of the region and the world,” it added.

In Islamabad, responding to media queries, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, the spokesman for the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, said there was no military solution to the conflict and Afghan sides should put forward their peace plans on a priority basis so that progress is made towards a political roadmap.

“Pakistan attaches importance to the role of Extended Troika (Russia, China, the US, and Pakistan) for bringing lasting peace and stability to Afghanistan. Pakistan will continue to engage in this platform to undertake collective efforts to expedite the peace process,” he noted.


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