US, allies will only recognise a politically settled Afghan govt
Ahead of the Troika Plus meeting taking place in Doha on the Afghan peace process, the US has made it clear that the country and its allies will only recognise any future government of Afghanistan and provide assistance if it meets the criteria laid down by Washington.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, in a press briefing, said that the Afghan government must emerge from a political settlement that meets five criterion.
“First, it must be inclusive; second, it must respect the rights of all Afghans, including women and minorities; third, it allows the Afghan people to have a say in choosing their leaders; fourth, it must prevent Afghan soil from being used to threaten the United States and its allies and partners; and fifth and finally, it must respect its commitments in terms of international law and international humanitarian law,” he explained.
He also said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman Abdullah Abdullah have accepted this criterion on their part.
“We’ve made these criterion very clear to the Taliban,” he said, adding that the US has discussed the criterion with its allies and partners.
“And for us, this will be the roadmap for recognition and for assistance to any future government of Afghanistan. It’s not – again, not just us. It is the countries in the region and well beyond that espouse this,” he maintained.
In response to a question on increasing incidents of violence, Ned said the level of violence is ‘unacceptably’ high.
“That is why we are focused on diminishing the level of violence. We are doing this diplomatically. But of course, the Afghans have a role to play than they have had to play over the past 20 years,” he added.
He also said the Taliban has inflicted horrific violence on their country, killing their fellow countrymen and women in the process, seemingly indiscriminately.
Speaking about the Troika Plus meeting, Ned said that Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is currently in Doha to advance a collective international response to a rapidly deteriorating security situation.
“He will and had already taken part in several rounds of planned meetings in the coming days. Those meetings, including one today, have and will include representatives from the region, as well as beyond and from multilateral organisations to press for a reduction in this violence and a ceasefire and commitment by the part of these regional and broader governments and multilateral and international institutions not to recognise any government that is imposed by force,” Ned briefed.
Khalilzad will press the Taliban to stop their military offensive and to negotiate a political settlement, he added.
“We know that is the only path to stability, to development in Afghanistan. We also know the opposite is true, that if this violence continues, if the Taliban continues down this path, we are likely to see a prolonged, protracted period of violence, of instability,” he said, adding that it was not in the interest of the people.
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