NATO issued a statement on Wednesday urging the parties to the peace process in Afghanistan “to negotiate toward a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire and a political roadmap.”
“After four decades of conflict and suffering, a negotiated political settlement offers the only hope for a lasting peace. Violence, especially driven by Taliban attacks, continues to undermine the peace process and must end,” the statement said.
It also said that the recent agreement between the negotiating teams of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban on the rules and procedures for Afghanistan Peace Negotiations and the first meeting of the Leadership Committee of the High Council for National Reconciliation “are important steps toward a comprehensive and lasting peace in Afghanistan, which is the unequivocal demand of the Afghan people.”
“We urge the parties to build on this momentum by agreeing to immediately end violence and by negotiating toward a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire and a political roadmap for a prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and its neighbours,” NATO mentioned in the statement.
The statement said NATO expects that the negotiations lead to an enduring and comprehensive Afghan peace agreement that puts an end to violence, builds on the progress of the last 19 years, “safeguards the human rights of all Afghans, particularly women, children, and minorities, upholds the rule of law, and ensures that Afghanistan never again serves as a safe haven for terrorists.”
NATO and its partners reaffirmed their commitment to Afghanistan, the Afghan people, and Afghanistan’s security forces, according to the statement.
“We call on the Afghan government and the Taliban to fulfill their commitments to the peace process initiated by the US-Taliban agreement and the US-Afghanistan Joint Declaration,” NATO further said.
“We will continue to consult on our military presence and, if conditions allow, to adjust it to support this Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.
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We went into Afghanistan together, we are adjusting together, and only when the conditions are right, we will leave together,” it added.