Speakers at Herat security dialogue focus on peace

Written by The Frontier Post

KABUL (TOLO News): Diplomats and representatives from various countries and institutions on Friday attended the first day of the Herat Security Dialogue, a conference in Herat province’s capital, to discuss issues concerning the region, including a potential Afghan peace process.

Participants’ remarks included a declaration of the Afghan people’s desire for peace, and also an entreaty to both the Taliban and the Afghan government to call a ceasefire.

The EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Ambassador Roland Kobia, referring to future governance in the country, said that if there was an “Islamic Emirate,” it would be “difficult” for the EU to continue its assistance to Afghanistan.

“If the fundamental values of its citizens are respected, the EU will be there for you. The EU will support reconstruction and developments. But we have principles to respect, and with an Islamic Emirate, that would be very difficult,” Kobia said.

Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta, former national security advisor, said the presence of foreign troops in the country has provided an excuse for the current war in Afghanistan, but the continuous war in the country is the intelligence and proxy war.

Spanta mentioned Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the US, and suggested that international intrigues are behind the ongoing conflict: “We are the victims of a proxy war.”

He urged that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan must be discussed with the government of Afghanistan, “not with any other side.”

Regarding peace talks, Spanta said the current peace talk deal is between the US and Pakistan “to decide the fate of Afghanistan.” He claimed that at the moment Afghans at the moment “don’t know what is happening or what kind of deal is taking place between the US and Pakistan.”

“In any peace deal, a guarantee should be provided that Pakistan must not meddle in Afghanistan’s affairs,” mentioned.

Another speaker, Agha Jan Motasim, a finance minister during the Taliban regime, said: “The Taliban should stop the attacks that hurt the people. And the government should also commit to stop the nights raids and airstrikes.”

“We must have a government system that is acceptable to all Afghans, called any name. Right now peace is very vital for us,” he said.

“Poppy cultivation and drug production in the country has also affected the war. Action must be taken regarding this issue as well,” he added.

The Herat Security Dialogue is hosted annually by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies.

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