Thomas West meets Afghan politicians, civil society in Istanbul


The US special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, held separate meetings with a number of Afghan figures including politicians, journalists and women activists in Turkey.

Some of the politicians who met with West said that overcoming the current Afghan crisis and the formation of an inclusive government were the main focus of the talks.

“The proposal of the High Council of Resistance and Rescue of Afghanistan and politicians was to continue the Doha negotiation, reach a political path, an interim government, and an election,” said Iqbal Safi, a former member of the parliament.

The Islamic Emirate said the commission of “Return and Communications with Former Afghan Officials and Political Figures,” will address the concerns of Afghans abroad. “The Commission of Return and Communications with Former Afghan Officials and Political Figures was established for this purpose, to consider the problems of those who have concerns and compel them to return to the country,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate. The US special envoy has yet to make any comment about the meetings with the Afghan politicians, journalists and women’s rights activists.

Earlier, West said he met with the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah.

Muhammad Mohaqiq, leader of the People’s Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan said on Facebook that West had met with the representatives of political parties and members of the Resistance Council.

The council was formed several days ago by the Afghan political parties that are in Turkey.

“This is a strong signal to the Taliban… that there should be an inclusive government that can represent the reality of Afghanistan,” said Sayed Javad Sijadi, an international affairs analyst.

The US special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, said that he and Rina Amiri, US envoy for Afghan women and human rights, spoke with acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, during which they “conveyed unified international opposition to ongoing and expanding restrictions on women and girls’ rights and role in society.”

West said that he also discussed the economic stabilization to support the people of Afghanistan. “Also discussed economic stabilization to support Afghan people, concerns about terrorist attacks on civilians, and recent dissolution of important institutions,” he said.

The US envoy said that the dialogue will continue in “support of Afghan people and our national interests.” West also expressed concern over the schools closed for girls above grade six and said, “girls must be back in school, women free to move and work without restrictions for progress to normalized relations.”—Tolonews