Kubis calls for dialogue on peace
KABUL (PAN): The United Nations, supporting talks on stabilising Afghanistan, has hoped mutually accepted modalities for the dialogue on peace and reconciliation can be swiftly agreed and implemented.
UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative Jan Kubiš said the impression he gathered from a swing through the region that a political solution would be the key to sustainable peace and economic prosperity in Afghanistan.
Briefing the Security Council on the work of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Thursday, he said: “Most immediately for Afghanistan this means elections resulting in a legitimate and peaceful transfer of power…”
According to a statement from UNAMA, the top UN diplomat called for early dialogue on peace and reconciliation, as it was stressed in many of his discussions with leaders of neighboring countries.
Calling narcotics a key problem, Kubis said he was extremely concerned at assessments that this year would see a significant rise in opium cultivation and a continuing drop in “poppy-free” provinces.
He cited Afghans' "exuberant" display of national unity and pride at their team’s victory in a regional football championship as a "welcome sign" on the gradual path to normalcy.
"There is clear progress in vital elements underpinning Afghanistan's transition processes. At the same time, challenges persist in the security and narcotics sectors in particular," he said.
Afghan security forces’ capabilities were not yet fully developed, even though the army and police had shown courage in rising to the challenge of security transition, the UNAMA head observed
On the political front, he stressed a stable leadership transition through next year's elections was significant, with candidates articulating clear visions and avoiding appeals to narrow ethnic or factional interests on a level playing field.
He welcomed the initial positive signals and engagements from the new leaders in Iran and Pakistan, saying the Afghan leader’s visit to Islamabad was of particular significance. “A new tone in relations seems to be emerging, narrowing the trust deficit.”
He viewed the rise in civilian casualties with deep concern, blaming the insurgents and criminal gangs for the vast majority of such attacks. Targeted killings of civilians and the use of improvised explosive devices were increasingly frequent tactics, he noted.
“The Taliban movement continues to assert in public statements that anyone associated with the government, or seen to support it, constitutes a target. This includes educators, judicial officials and civil servants in clear violation of international humanitarian law.”
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