Afghan, Taliban delegates agree on ‘war is not solution’

DM Monitoring

TEHRAN: The Taliban delegation and a group of Afghan politicians in Tehran agreed during their meetings on Wednesday and Thursday that war was not the solution to the Afghan problem and that “a peaceful solution should be sought,” said a joint declaration with six articles.
The sides also agreed to hold talks in a “cordial atmosphere” on “issues that need further consultation and clarity, such as establishing a mechanism for the transition from war to lasting peace, and the agreed Islamic system and how to achieve it,” the declaration said.
The two sides decried attacks targeting “people’s homes, schools, mosques, and hospitals, causing civilian casualties” and strongly condemned the destruction of public facilities and called for the perpetrators to be punished, it said.
The two-day meeting between the Taliban delegation and a group of Afghan politicians was held on Wednesday and began with an opening speech by Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister.
The Taliban delegation was led by the group’s negotiator, Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai.
The group of Afghan politicians, led by former vice president Younus Qanooni, who travelled to Tehran from Kabul.
Other officials from Kabul included Karim Khurram, former chief of staff to former president Hamid Karzai, Ershad Ahmadi, a close aide of former president Karzai, President Ashraf Ghani’s adviser Salaam Rahimi, Zahir Wahdat of Hezb-e-Wahdat party and Mohammadullah Batash from Junbish party.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan who arrived in Kabul on Tuesday met a number of senior Afghan political leaders including former president Hamid Karzai to discuss how to expedite the stalled Doha peace talks.
Al-Qahtani also met with other senior political leaders including Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish and Mohammad Karim Khalili, the head of Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami party.
In April this year, US President Joe Biden announced that all the American troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11.
Following the announcement, the Taliban escalated their attacks in various areas and dozens of districts fell to the group.
On Tuesday, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed in a statement that the US has completed “more than 90 percent” of its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
This follows the US and coalition forces pullout from Bagram Airfield, which for nearly 20 years was the largest US base in Afghanistan.
“As of July 5, Department of Defense has retrograded the equivalent of approximately 984 C-17 aircraft- loads of material out of Afghanistan and has turned over nearly 17,074 pieces of equipment to the Defense Logistics Agency for disposition,” the release stated.
CENTCOM did not say how many US troops remain in Afghanistan. Between 2,500 and 3,500 were in the country when President Joe Biden announced in April that all US forces would withdraw by Sept. 11, according to reports.
About 650 troops are expected to remain to protect the US Embassy in Kabul, while others may be deployed to protect the capital’s airport alongside Turkish troops, according to reports.