NATO To Remain In Afghanistan Until Lasting Peace: Envoy
NATO Senior Civilian Representative for Afghanistan Nicolas Kay said that the alliance will remain in Afghanistan until there is a lasting peace in the country.
He said the international community will not allow Afghanistan to once again become a safe haven for terrorists.
“A peace settlement will only be durable and sustainable if it is built upon the achievements of the last 17 or 18 years including democracy and respect for human rights,” he said.
According to Kay, although the alliance strongly supports the ongoing efforts for peace in Afghanistan, but added that NATO will never accept a peace which does not ensure the protection of the gains Afghans has made in the past 18 years.
“It is our responsibility to help Afghans amplify their voices and raise their voices to make sure that Afghans’ demands and Afghans’ concerns are fully faceted into peace negotiations and in any final peace agreement,” said Kay during a press briefing in western Herat province.
The NATO envoy added that a reduction in violence could be the best way to engage in purposeful peace talks.
He condemned the Taliban’s spring offensive announcement and asked the group to respond positively to the Afghans’ voice for peace and stop war and violence in the country.
“Too many Afghans are dying,” concluded Kay, persuading the Taliban to reduce violence.
This comes amid the sixth round of talks between the US and the Taliban in Doha Qatar where the two sides reportedly discussed some of the key issues including a timeframe for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, assurance that Afghanistan’s territory will not be used as a threat against other nations following a peace agreement, a potential ceasefire, and intra-Afghan talks.
Meanwhile, in Kabul, the grand consultative Jirga on peace gets underway for the 4th day where Afghans from various regions of the country are exchanging views on the prospects of peace in the country.