Germany Pledges Facilitating Intra-Afghan Talks

Germany’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Markus Potzel, said at a press conference in Kabul on Wednesday that his country is willing to facilitate intra-Afghan talks as he met with President Ghani and a number of Afghan politicians and senior government officials.

Potzel said that at least 60 people will represent the Afghan government and the Taliban in the meeting. However, the exact date and venue for such a meeting is yet to be agreed upon.

“We decided, all European countries, to save these achievements. They must try to save these achievements,” said Potzel.

Meanwhile, NATO’s Civilian Representative for Afghanistan, Nicolas Kay said the alliance will help Afghans to see a peace accord sometime this year.

“NATO is here to support the Afghans wish to achieve peace and to achieve peace this year. This is really a historic opportunity,” said Kay.

Reports indicate that the meeting will likely take place either in Doha or Uzbekistan.

“Overall, 60 people from the two sides will attend the meeting and 20 percent of them will be women from two sides. The Taliban has also accepted this,” said MP Helai Ershad.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has hailed Germany’s contribution in facilitating intra-Afghan talks.

“It is hoped that with the holding of the seventh round and after that in the framework of intra-Afghan talks and within the framework of an appropriate environment which would mark the start of negotiations between Afghanistan and the Taliban, the friendly countries play their role in this sphere, so within this framework, we highly value the role of Germany,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Idris Zaman.

Potzel so far has visited Afghanistan four times in recent months as part of Germany’s efforts to promote purposeful peace negotiations between the warring parties in the country.

Following the cancellation of a planned meeting between Afghans in Doha, Germany since then has expanded its efforts to facilitate such a meeting.

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