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Moscow meeting vital for entering real peace talks: Experts

Moscow meeting vital for entering real peace talks: Experts

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Nov 10, 2018 - 18:45

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some political experts on Saturday termed Moscow talks on peace in Afghanistaninfo-icon as important, saying such dialogues were required before entering practical negotiations.

Russia hosted the summit on Afghan reconciliation process on Friday in Moscow, in which delegations from the HPC, representing the Afghan government, the Taliban delegation and representatives from Iran, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the US participated.

Political experts say meetings such as the one in Moscow were important for advancing the Afghan peace process.

Mushtaq Rahim, a former High Peace Councilinfo-icon (HPC) employee and peace activist, said peace talks should be appreciated no matter who engaged in them or wherever held.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Moscow meeting was not about peace negotiations, but it purpose was to break the ice and enter real dialogue.

“The HPC delegation and Talibaninfo-icon representatives met on the sidelines of Moscow conference, they greeted each other, laughed and would also meet in near future God willing,” Rahim added.

Intizam Khadim, a peace and political affairs analyst, also said the Moscow conference was vital as all sides shared their views with each other.

After India, Pakistaninfo-icon, Saudi Arabia and Iran got engaged in proxy wars on the Afghanistan soil, Russia and the US were now attempting to reach a peace agreement in Afghanistan, he said.

Khadim said it was for the first time that the US and Russia agreed on definition of Afghan peace, an issue he termed as hopeful.

“Despite no talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban on the mechanism of power sharing, it is a great achievement when Russia and America agree on the definition of peace”, he added.

He said the two sides should now begin talks over a mechanism of power sharing.

Khadim said peace was a natural process, not a project, and all warring sides were tired of the war and now they wanted to reach peace.

But he criticized the government for not sending a powerful delegation to Moscow meeting.

Another analyst, Numan Dost, said the last two decades of war proved no side was winning and that the war was no solution. “Peace is the ultimate solution.”

“But it is unclear how many more lives will be lost lose until we get peace, it is the time to respect our lives and take the path of peace with all our power,” he said.

He said the war had deprived the Afghans of everything one needed in life. “The peace talks amid pessimism, attacks and bloodshed are a light of hope for the Afghan people, the more a problem prolongs the more it turns ugly,” he added.

Dost said if peace talks had happened today or in 2001, countless lives would have been rescued.

“Peace is out of Afghans control and if near or far countries have interest in the war they would create hurdles for peace but if these countries are convinced that peace is in their favor, the talks would hopefully lead to fruition”, he said.

Mohammad Hassan Haqyar, a political analyst, also said that the Moscow meeting was beneficial to the government, the Taliban and to all the Afghans.

It was the first time a big gathering took place and all sides took part, he said.

The presence of US and Taliban representatives in the Moscow meeting was important as they talked and agreed that only peace was the solution to the ongoing Afghan crisis, he said.

He said all the sides stressed over holding more such meetings in future for reaching a peace agreement.

There were deep differences in Taliban’s statements in the meeting particularly their views about womeninfo-icon’s rights, Haqyar added.

Dr. Faiz Mohammad Zalan, a lecturer in Kabul University, termed the Moscow meeting as a positive step.

However, he criticized the government and said the HPC sent a weak delegation to the meeting as the delegation failed to clearly present its stance.

“The HPC delegation proved that peace is not a priority of the Afghan government”, he added.

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) also hoped the Moscow meeting would pave the way for direct peace talks with the Taliban.

However, the ministry said the Taliban should not be allowed to make instrumental use of the summit in their interest, as per the agreement between Afghanistan and Russia.

mds/ma

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