UN hails face-to-face talks between Kabul, Taliban
KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Wednesday welcomed direct talks between Afghan government and Taliban representatives in Islamabad and urged the parties to take next steps towards reconciliation and peace.
The head of UNAMA, Nicholas Haysom, welcomed the direct talks. Recalling his briefing last month to the Security Council, in which he specifically urged direct talks between the parties, Haysom reiterated the Afghans wanted an end to the pervasive violence that affected every aspect of their lives.
“In the long term, peace is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” said Haysom. “I welcome the direct face-to-face engagement by the parties as the only way to achieving progress towards a negotiated agreement and ultimately the peace that Afghanistan deserves.”
He also said it was important to acknowledge that the talks were only the first steps in what could be a long and challenging process.
Haysom, who is also the UN Secretary-General’s special representative for Afghanistan, expressed his appreciation to the parties for taking this important first step, as well as to the government of Pakistan for hosting the meeting.
These talks should be recognised as the outcome of the recent concerted efforts at rebuilding relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, he added.
Former President Hamid Karzi also welcomed talks between Afghan government and Taliban representatives in Islamabad.
A statement from the office of former president termed the recent talks as positive start and in larger interest of Afghanistan.
“Informal talks to promote peace in Afghanistan have been held in China, Dubai, Qatar and Norway which have positive outcome for Afghanistan,” the statement said.
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