Troika on Afghanistan pleads for peace, rejected return of Islamic Emirate

BYYasir Rehman


Russia, China, United States and Pakistan, also known as the Troika on Afghanistan has rejected the idea of restoration of an Islamic Emirate and called on the Taliban to not pursue a Spring offensive.

Following a day long discussions on Thursday in Moscow on accelerating the peace process in Afghanistan, the Troika issued a  joint statement acknowledging the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for a lasting and just peace and an end to the war and confirm that a sustainable peace can only be achieved through a negotiated political settlement.

“We call on all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to reduce the level of violence in the country and on the Taliban not to pursue a Spring offensive, so as to avoid further casualties and to create an environment conducive to reaching a negotiated political settlement”, the joint statement read.

Citing the UN Security Council resolution 2513 (2020), the Troika said they do not support the restoration of the Islamic Emirate and called on the Afghan government and the High Council for National Reconciliation to engage openly with their Taliban counterparts regarding a negotiated settlement.

“We urge participants in the intra-Afghan negotiations to engage immediately in discussions on fundamental issues to resolve the conflict, including the foundations of the future peaceful and stable Afghan State, the content of a political roadmap leading to an inclusive government, and the modalities of a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire”, statement said.

“At this pivotal moment, our four states call on the parties to negotiate and conclude a peace agreement that will bring an end to over four decades of war in Afghanistan,” joint statement further said.

According to the joint statement, Troika strongly advocate a durable and just political resolution with will result in an independent, sovereign, unified and peaceful Afghanistan “free of terrorism and an illicit drug industry.

Troika also called on both the Afghan government and the Taliban to ensure no terrorist groups nor individuals use Afghan soil to threaten the security of any other country.

The Troika also reaffirm that any peace agreement must include protections for the rights of all Afghans, including women, men, children, victims of war and minorities.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov inaugurated the Moscow Conference

All concerned countries were also encouraged to support the Afghan people and to contribute to a lasting peace.

“We reaffirm our commitment to mobilize international political and economic support for a post political settlement in Afghanistan,” the statement read.

The Troika also acknowledged Qatar for its support of the peace process and said they were in support of the continuation of discussions between the negotiating teams in Doha.

Welcoming the UN Secretary General Gutteres’ appointment of Mr. Jean Arnault as his personal envoy on Afghanistan and regional issues, Troika acknowledged that UN playing a positive and constructive role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

Earlier, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov while inaugurating the day long conference said that his country will continue to play its role to promote political dialogue in Afghanistan.

“Russia on its part will continue to help promote the peace process to put an end to the long-term hostilities, and we call on all sides to prevent further hostilities from happening”, he said.

“We need to engage in diplomatic dialogue, and this is the only way to resolve the key issues existing between the parties and this is the idea of this meeting,” the Russian foreign minister said.

He said that the peace process in Afghanistan should be an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process and that no outsider should try to interfere in the country’s affairs.

Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, in his remarks said that The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan strongly believes in a just, lasting and acceptable political solution to the crisis that is acceptable to all parties and which maintains national sovereignty, independence, Islamic-national values and principles, and the achievements of recent years–especially the fundamental rights of citizens, freedom of expression and women’s rights.

Taliban’s chief negotiator Mawlavi Abdul Hakim Haqqani at the meeting said that the Taliban wants a stable, independent Islamic government in Afghanistan that can live in peace and the region.

He said that the Afghans should be allowed to decide on their own destiny while accusing United States for not fully implementing Doha agreement.

“We want an inclusive Afghan Islamic system that is able to represent the people,” he said.

Moscow Conference was attended by representatives of the Afghan government, the Taliban, prominent Afghan political figures and Qatar and Turkey representatives.

On the request of United States, next landmark meeting will be held in Turkey in April.

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