Gareth Bayley, the UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative, convened a meeting in London of Special Envoys from the US and Europe to discuss peace in Afghanistan. Special Envoys of the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Italy, Norway and the European Union met in London on 23 April 2019.
“Respectful of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, participants discussed the Afghan people’s desire for a lasting peace”, statement by UK government said.
The participants agreed on a number of things.
They reiterated their affirmation that the future of Afghanistan is for Afghans to decide. “A return to practices from an earlier period that rolls back progress will invite international isolation of Afghanistan. Participants do not believe that the majority of the Afghan people desire that outcome.
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Sustainable peace requires inclusive dialogue between the Taliban, Afghan government, and other Afghans that leads to intra-Afghan negotiations.
The parties reaffirmed that intra-Afghan negotiations should begin as soon as possible, with the goal of reaching an agreement on a political roadmap for Afghanistan’s future.
They also urged all sides to take immediate steps to reduce violence and end the killing, “The Afghan people deserve and want an end to violence. Calls for more fighting will not advance peace efforts, and will instead yield only more suffering and destruction”.
The special representatives called on the Taliban to cut ties to Al-Qaeda, and other international terrorist groups, and to take concrete steps to ensure Al Qaeda, Daesh and other international terrorists do not use Afghan soil to threaten or attack any other country.
They also reaffirmed their commitment to provide long-term support for implementation of any peace agreement that protects the rights of all Afghan women, men, children and minorities, responds to the Afghans’ strong desire to sustain the economic, social, and development gains they have achieved since 2001.