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PublishDate: Sunday, March 7, 202112:23

Abdullah meets US embassy’s DCM as Taliban refuses ‘idea of interim gov’t’

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_#Abdullah_Abdullah head of the High Council for National Reconciliation meet with the Deputy Chief of the US embassy in Kabul both have discussed the latest proposed plans towards peace.

Abdullah met Ian McCary Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Kabul at his office in Sepedar Palace.

The meeting focused on recent peace efforts, America’s latest peace plan, and both officials exchanged their views on the next steps towards Afghan peace.

According to the council, the two sides also welcomed the acceleration of peace efforts and called for a political solution to the problem in Afghanistan and an end to the war.

According to the statement the two sides welcomed the plan to accelerate peace efforts and called for a political solution to the issues in Afghanistan and an end to war

This comes as U.S representative proposed a shakeup process this week including interim government and a conference of key players and his plan faces many objections.

Reuters reported that a Taliban leader on condition of anonymity said raise possibility of an interim government with the Taliban negotiating team in Doha, as well as reduction of violence by 60-70 percent.

“Khalilzad has come with some ideas and his top agenda is the intra-Afghan dialogue to deliver some tangible results and very soon,” he told Reuters.

The leader also hinted that the Taliban would not join an interim government but the idea was not opposed, Reuters quoted him saying “We would recommend people with a good reputation for the interim government and this set up would need to work for at least two years to depoliticize all the government departments, including the security establishment,”.

He added that a reduction in violence could be considered but there won’t be a cease-fire and Khalilzad was asked to pressure the Afghan government to release 7,000 more Taliban prisoners

“We don’t believe any other conference in any country would help resolve the Afghan conflict,” he told Reuters.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, told Reuters they had not yet seen the plan, but if an alternative to talks in Qatar was sought, “it is doomed to failure.”

Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid in a call told Reuters that they have not seen the plan but if the alternative to talks in Qatar was sought it would lead to “doomed failure”.

President Ghani reiterated his refusal to the plan of an interim government, he said “Any institution can write a fantasy on a piece of paper and suggest a solution for Afghanistan”

His logical demand is a guarantee of peace and transfer of power through legal election procedures as ordered by the constitution.

Ghani’s fierce opposition would be a problem for the plan, two international officials told Reuters.

One of the officials indicated that “The problem here is that Ghani can blame the United States directly … by challenging his legitimacy and considering an interim government it implies they are undermining the democratic process,”.

US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has in the past week proposed the possibility of a Bonn-type conference that could cancel or sideline the intra-Afghan peace talks currently underway in Doha.

Afghanistan Analysts Network reported that Khalilzad also proposed a #Bonn-type_conference that would be aimed to either cancel or sideline the peace process.

The “Bonn 2” have been discussed in a number of capitals and with different Afghan leaders, AAN reported.

The proposal appears aimed at ensuring a US troop withdrawal that would not look like Washington is cutting and running, AAN stated adding that any new power-sharing agreement reached as a ‘quick fix’ to the conflict would be inherently risky.

This could include increased conflict and the breaking down and loss of whatever stability and systems Afghanistan now enjoys.

The review of the #US-Taliban agreement and monitoring of the group’s ties with #Al-Qaeda was supported by many Afghan politicians including President Ashraf Ghani.

This proposal is aimed that US troop’s withdrawal would not look like the country is running away, the quick fix agreement would be inherently risky and could further escalate violence and result in loss of whatever stability Afghanistan currently enjoys.

Thomas Ruttig, who was at the first Bonn conference as part of the UN team says the situation is different in 2020 from those in 2001 according to him the second Bonn conference is disingenuous, AAN said in their report.

Ruttig states that according to sources, the US envoy told Afghan politicians that the peace talks in Doha will be sidelined and that a Bonn Conference-style meeting will be held at the international level to discuss the prospect of a participatory government that would include the Taliban.

“A grand international conference that will be similar to the Bonn Conference will be held, in which the Taliban and the republic side will participate at the leadership level. At the same time, the international community, including the United States and the regional countries, will reach a political agreement that will take its legitimacy from the international community.

“However, the national legitimacy (agreement of the potential conference) would take its authority from the traditional Loya Jirga,” AAN quoted Shahzada Massoud, a close aide to former president Hamid Karzai.

According to AAN, the new Bonn type conference will prioritize only the interests of the United States, and if agreed the cause of conflict will be remained unaddressed.

Having only armed factions repeat a major mistake of Bonn 1 and it would undercut the principle of broad participation and deprive women’s organizations and other civil society groups to join the meeting and this would limit the chances of a prolonged peaceful future, AAN said in their report.

AAN indicated if both parties came forward to any form of truce with it the withdrawal of troops comes and international powers’ leverage, interest, and attention will be reduced on the Afghan parties and the country.

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