The initialling of a peace agreement by the Government of Afghanistan and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin sends a strong signal of hope for Afghanistan. It demonstrates that political processes can succeed where conflict cannot.
The leadership of the parties involved, and their negotiation teams, have demonstrated great political courage to engage in a truly Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process, and have stayed the course even during difficult times.
Once the agreement has been signed, we expect its early implementation. This will be no easy task. The route to reconciliation is lined with many challenges but each side has already displayed the determination and perseverance necessary for success.
One of the key aims of the upcoming Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, co-hosted by the European Union and the Afghan Government, is to renew partnerships that will help create the political, social and economic environment enabling Afghanistan to consolidate peace, security and prosperity. This peace agreement, once signed, will help to provide a strong foundation for a successful conference.