Taliban Says EU Peace Statement ‘Violates Afghan Sovereignty’

Taliban said it welcomed the EU peace efforts but criticized the declaration statement for containing measures that “violate the right of sovereignty of Afghans.”

“We have constantly shown commitment to non-interference in the internal affairs of others in our statements,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on the group’s website Voice of Jihad.

“We also expect others to not interfere in our internal affairs nor complicate the issue of Afghanistan even further,” the Taliban warned.

Mujahid reiterated that foreign interests were the ones responsible for the war and devastation of Afghanistan.

His solution: “The future governance system shall be chosen by the Afghans in intra-Afghan negotiations and this is a legitimate right reserved by the Afghans.”

The EU released a 13-point statement on the ongoing Afghan peace negotiations in Afghanistan but set certain conditions for their continued support to the conflict-ridden country.

The bloc’s caveats were the non-return of the Islamic Emirate, the preservation of the strides made by the Afghan government over the past nine years, support for the rights of the people, protection of the Republic, permanent ceasefire and immediate dialogue between the Afghans.

It also called on the Taliban to build trust and confidence to kick-start the intra-Afghan negotiations.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani welcomed the bloc’s support for the peace process and development of Afghanistan over the last 20 years.

In a series of tweets, the Afghan Presidential Palace said the Afghan-EU strategic ties must remain strong to “strengthen common values and combat common threats” and the continued support will help them achieve common goals such as strengthening democracy, human and women rights in the country.
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Status of Intra-Afghan Talks

Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah told a press conference that they were ready to negotiate with the Taliban.

The Taliban reposted snippets of the Eid message delivered by their leader to reiterate that they continued to be committed to the peace talks and ending the crisis in Afghanistan.

The group’s leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, had said, “The Islamic Emirate is committed to the agreement signed with America and urges the other side to honour its own commitments and not allow this critical opportunity go to waste.” He added that the implementation of the agreement could be a “powerful instrument” to end the conflict for all sides and protect them from harm.

Taliban also said they were holding the U.S. side to the Doha agreement which included the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops and the release of up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners within a decided timeframe.

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