• Wednesday, Jul 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:51 pm

US joined by Russia, China, Pakistan in call for Afghan ceasefire

  • Published at 12:06 am March 19th, 2021
Taliban
Officials, including Afghan former President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban's deputy leader and negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, attend the Afghan peace conference in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, March 18, 2021 Reuters

President Joe Biden must soon decide whether to keep forces on past a May 1 deadline to withdraw, agreed with the Taliban last year under Biden's predecessor Donald Trump

The US was joined by Russia, China and Pakistan on Thursday in calling on Afghanistan's warring sides to reach an immediate ceasefire, at talks that showed Washington's determination to win backing from regional powers for its plans.

Just six weeks before a deadline for the US to pull out troops that have been in Afghanistan for nearly 20 years, Washington sent a senior official for the first time to participate in regional peace talks convened by Russia.

The Moscow talks were meant to breathe life into negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Qatar's capital Doha, stalled over government accusations that the insurgents have done too little to halt violence.

"At this turning point, our four countries call on the sides to hold talks and reach a peace agreement that will end more than four decades of war in Afghanistan," a joint statement said after Thursday's talks.

The statement called on the warring sides to curb violence and on the Taliban not to declare offensives in the spring and summer. It also said the four countries were committed to mobilizing political and economic support for Afghanistan once a peace settlement had been reached.

US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad's presence was a sign of Washington's increasing effort to attract support among regional powers for its plans for Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden must soon decide whether to keep forces on past a May 1 deadline to withdraw, agreed with the Taliban last year under Biden's predecessor Donald Trump. 

Khalilzad has been trying to drum up backing for a proposal that includes an interim government.

Moscow, which fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s, has hosted talks among Afghan sides and regional powers since 2017. 

Previously, Washington had largely kept its distance from the so-called "Moscow Format," focusing on its own direct talks with the Taliban and talks between the Afghan parties themselves.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani opposes an interim government, and a Taliban leader has said the group would not join it, although it supports replacing the current administration.

Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, wrote on Twitter after Thursday's Moscow talks that the state negotiation team was ready to discuss any topic with the Taliban.

"We called for an end to targeted killings and a comprehensive ceasefire to begin the next rounds of the talks in a peaceful environment," Abdullah wrote.

The Moscow gathering will be followed by a meeting of regional players in Turkey next month and a summit that Khalilzad has asked the UN to organize.


52
Facebook 52
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail