The four countries in the region have urged Afghan groups to agree on a ceasefire, start peace talks as soon as possible and take decisive action against terrorist groups on their soil.
The demand was made in a joint statement issued after a “virtual” meeting of delegates from Pakistan, Iran, Russia and China on the current situation in Afghanistan and issues facing the peace process.
The meeting was held on May 18 and all the four participating countries would issue a declaration on the same day.
Stressing on cooperation for inter-Afghan dialogue, the four countries, which have a common interest in peace in Afghanistan, said that dialogue between Afghan groups is the only way to national reconciliation that can end the long-running conflict immediately.
It may be recalled that a peace agreement was signed between the United States and the Taliban on February 29 in Doha, the capital of Qatar, and as per the agreement the Afghan government would release 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for 1,000 Afghan Forces.
The prisoner exchange was due to be completed before March 10 and negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government were to begin, but the process was slow due to a number of issues.
However, the recent wave of violence in Afghanistan has further complicated the issue, with some of the attacks, including the May 12 attack on a maternity hospital attributed to ISIS.
After Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered the resumption of offensive operations against the Taliban, the Taliban said in response to the Afghan government’s announcement that they were fully prepared to respond attacks by Afghan forces.
The Taliban had said that from now on, the responsibility for further tensions would fall on the shoulders of the Kabul administration.
Two days ago, the Taliban reiterated their demand for the implementation of the Doha Agreement. Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha, said that the solution to the Afghan problem was the implementation of the Doha Agreement.
However, the Taliban attacked Kunduz the same night, the Afghan Ministry of Defense said, adding that the attack was foiled and the Taliban suffered heavy losses.
The statement called for an immediate ceasefire and called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to support a call for a global ceasefire, as well as a comprehensive ceasefire throughout Afghanistan.
The four countries also urged the Afghan government and other groups to neutralize the threat posed by terrorist groups in Afghanistan and to end drug trafficking.
The statement specifically named the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has been carrying out terrorist attacks in Pakistan from Afghan soil.
Due to the serious threat of terrorism in Afghanistan, all parties called for decisive action against Al Qaeda, ISIL, ETIM, TTP and other international terrorist organizations operating in the region and in the country.