KABUL (Pajhwok): A senior US State Department official has confirmed discussions on several options including the formation of a participatory government in Afghanistan during Zalmay Khalilzad’s recent visit.
The discussions took place at a meeting under auspices of the United Nations and high level Afghan leaders during the US special envoy ambassador Kahlilzad visit to Kabul. The State Department official said so far these options had not been discussed with the Taliban. The official said these discussions were based on the US administration review of the US-Taliban peace deal.
The official said “We proposed several issues that could accelerate the peace process to increase the UN role in Afghan peace process”. The official said preparations for war next spring were underway that could worsen the situation of Afghanistan.
“What we proposed to President Ghani, Chairman Abdullah and a large number of Afghan leaders is that with conditions how we can accelerate the peace process to reach a permanent, justifiable, fair peace in Afghanistan”. The official th UN could appoint a person to work with the US and other countries’ special representatives.
The UN will organize a high level meeting of countries that have influence on the Taliban including Iran and Pakistan for developing consensus among these countries and in the long term, political future of Afghanistan. The official said: “What should be done to move forward? It could be an interim setup, how the setup could be, how could be the participation in the setup”.
The official said the possibility and need of holding a conference of Afghan leaders at an appropriate time and seeking mediation in the negotiations were discussed with Afghan officials and politicians. The US state department official said reactions to these ideas were positive from Afghan officials and politicians. He said important issues included ceasefire and future setup that how to reach these goals.
The official described the meetings between President Ghani and ambassador Khalilzad as good. According sources president Ghani and ambassador Khalilzad met thrice in past three days. He said that efforts would be made so the two parties could reach an agreement with high support from the national and regional levels so Afghanistan would not face a proxy war in the future again.
However, the official said that there was no guarantee whether the two parties would agree on the suggestions or not, but stressed that the Afghan problem could not be solved militarily. The official says these proposals are in early state and there is no deadline fixed for working. The official says decisions would be taken by Afghans themselves on these issues.
On his twitter handler US Special Representative ZalmayKhalilzad wrote: “Discussed the current negotiations with peace activists throughout Afghanistan & how to move toward a political settlement. They talked about how all interests are best served by the achievement of a permanent & comprehensive ceasefire.People from across Afghanistan have demanded peace & a permanent, comprehensive ceasefire.” Khalilzad held meetings with provincial peace activists and heard their perspectives on the negotiations and learn how they were advancing peace in their communities. He added the United States understood that representations and inclusion were critical for any nation’s stability & security.
The US chief negotiator also spoke with Afghan women leaders to hear their views on how women are being represented in negotiations and how to accelerate the peace process. “Consulted with Afghan women leaders regarding the peace process and how best to support a political settlement and a permanent & comprehensive ceasefire. For a just & durable peace, women’s voices must be represented & all sectors of society have to be engaged,” he added.