Taliban violence undermines confidence in peace: NATO
KABUL: The high level of violence in Afghanistan, driven by Taliban attacks, undermines confidence in the peace process, NATO said in a statement released on Tuesday.
NATO called on all sides to rapidly start intra-Afghan talks, adding that NATO allies will continue to consult on its military presence to support the peace process.
“An Afghan-owned and led peace process aimed at finding a political resolution that ends decades of conflict is the only way to deliver sustainable peace to the Afghan people and to ensure Afghanistan’s long-term security and stability,” it said, adding that “NATO and its partners are committed to contributing to an environment conducive to this outcome. We call on all sides to rapidly resolve the remaining issues still precluding the start of inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations.”
The statement said that the current level of violence – driven especially by Taliban attacks against Afghan security forces, “remains unacceptably high, causing instability and undermining confidence in the peace process.”
The statement also mentioned the 2018 and 2020 Eid al-Fitr ceasefires and the period of reduced violence leading up to the signing of the US-Taliban agreement.
NATO mentioned in the statement that the military presence of the alliance and its partners in the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan “is conditions-based.”
“We will continue to consult and, if conditions allow, to adjust our military presence to support the peace process, initiated by the US-Taliban agreement and the US-Afghanistan Joint Declaration. We urge the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban to fulfill their commitments, including entering into intra-Afghan negotiations and ensuring terrorists never again find safe haven on Afghan soil,” read the statement.
“Recent heinous attacks targeting civilians, including women, children, civil society members, religious figures, and health care workers throughout Afghanistan underscore the urgency of fulfilling these critical commitments,” it added.
NATO reaffirms its longstanding commitment to Afghanistan, the Afghan people, and the Afghan security forces through the Resolute Support Mission.
“We expect intra-Afghan negotiations to lead to an enduring and comprehensive peace agreement that puts an end to violence, safeguards the human rights of all Afghans, including women and children, upholds the rule of law, and ensures that Afghanistan never again serves as a safe haven for terrorists,” NATO said.
“It is time for all parties to seize this moment for peace,” it added. (TOLOnews)