Extended Troika urges Taliban to fulfill counterterrorism commitments in Doha meeting

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The Extended Troika on Peaceful Settlement in Afghanistan comprising the US, Russia, China and Pakistan has asked Taliban to fulfill its counterterrorism commitments.

“We expect the Taliban to fulfill its counterterrorism commitments, including preventing terrorist groups and individuals from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of any other country; not hosting these groups and preventing them from recruiting, training, and fundraising. We expect the Afghan government to continue counterterrorism cooperation with the international community,” read the joint statement issued by the extended Troika.

The extended “Troika” met with representatives of the Islamic Republic negotiating team and of the Taliban, as well as Qatar, who graciously hosted the participants.

The participants affirmed that they acknowledged the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for a lasting and just peace and an end to the war.

They reiterated that there is no military solution in Afghanistan and a negotiated political settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process is the only way forward for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“We take note of the April 14 announcement by the United States and NATO that U.S./NATO forces will begin a responsible withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021 that concludes by September 11, 2021,”.

They added that the withdrawal of foreign troops should ensure a steady transition of the situation in Afghanistan.

They also called for maintain the peace process during the withdrawal process, adding that it should be ensured that no fights or turbulence shall occur in Afghanistan during the withdrawal.

The extended Troika urged 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.

“We condemn in the strongest terms any attacks deliberately targeting civilians in Afghanistan and call on all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law in all circumstances, including those related to protection of civilians,” read the statement.

The forum also urged Afghanistan and the High Council for National Reconciliation to engage openly with their Taliban counterparts regarding a negotiated settlement.

“We support a review of the status of designations of Taliban individuals and entities on the UN 1988 sanctions, as stated in the UNSC resolution 2513 (2020). Practical measures to reduce violence and sustained efforts to advance intra-Afghan negotiations by the Taliban will positively affect this review process”.

“We strongly advocate a durable and just political resolution that will result in the formation of an independent, sovereign, unified, peaceful, democratic, neutral and self-sufficient Afghanistan, free of terrorism and an illicit drug industry, which contributes to a safe environment for the voluntary, expeditious and sustainable return of Afghan refugees through a well-resourced plan; stability; and global security,” it added.