The EU Delegation, in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission based in Kabul and the Ambassador of Canada, wish to communicate the following regarding the Afghan Peace Process:
We note the recent positive momentum and urge all Afghan political forces to resolutely seize the historic opportunity for a lasting peace, and call for the start of direct Intra-Afghan Negotiations without further delay. Afghanistan deserves a durable, just and inclusive peace.
This requires strong efforts from all to build trust and confidence, both inside the political forces and between them. It also requires the meaningful inclusion of all parts of Afghan society, including women, throughout the peace process. Now is the time to courageously take the first steps together towards a sustainable peace.
We welcome the actions taken so far, particularly by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, most notably the release of thousands of prisoners outside of its direct obligations.
There is no military solution to the conflict and the still unacceptably high level of violence is contrary to expectations of a meaningful peace process and the principles of the UN Charter. We urge the Taliban to respect the desire of the citizens of Afghanistan and heed the UN Secretary-General’s and the UN Security Council’s unanimous call for an immediate unconditional, comprehensive and nationwide ceasefire.
We will remain vigilant that Intra-Afghan Negotiations are driven by a spirit of reconciliation, openness and inclusiveness, of fair dialogue between parties and representatives of society, and of respect for the constitution and the institutions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, as well as the continuity of Afghanistan’s international obligations.
A negotiated political settlement leading to peace must preserve and build on the democratic and human rights achievements of the past 19 years. These include human rights, rule of law and democratic freedoms, including the increased respect for the rights and freedoms of women and girls. We especially urge for the full participation of women in all aspects of the negotiations.
We will remain a committed partner for the people of Afghanistan in their enduring quest for peace and these values and principles will be among the guiding conditions for our future political, diplomatic and financial support, as expressed unanimously by the 27 Foreign Ministers of the European Union Countries and by EU High Representative Borrell on 29 May 2020.
Today’s decisions and actions by political forces in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, will determine the decisions and actions of the international community tomorrow.