Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Peace: The First Priority of The US in Afghanistan

United Sates and Taliban negotiators wrapped up their sixth round of peace talks with “some progress” made on a draft agreement for when foreign troops might withdraw from Afghanistan. Both sides have expressed their happiness with the talks progress so far. However, the positive message is that the US is determined that it will not agree to any withdrawal of troops as part of an eventual peace deal until the Taliban put in place security guarantees, implement a ceasefire and sign off on other commitments including an “intra-Afghan” dialogue with the Kabul government and other Afghan representatives.
At the same time, US State Department Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Alice Wells arrived in Kabul on Saturday 12 May 2018, to participate in the opening of the US-Afghan Civilian Assistance Review. In the following lines we would briefly analyze the main objectives and outcomes of the Wells travel to Kabul.
Discussing US-Afghan Civilians Assistance Review
In her meeting with President Ashraf Ghani on the day of her arrival on Sunday May 12, they discussed US-Afghan Civilians Assistance Review to promote strong governance and self-reliance as proposed by President Ghani in his letter to US President Donald Trump and other issues related to Afghanistan. According to the political economy analysts the Review will strengthen Afghan institutions and promote Afghan self-reliance, and is an element of the investment the US makes in the social and economic development of Afghanistan. 
Discussing Peace Process
During her visit, she met with men and women from civil society to hear their views on peace and reaffirm US support for a peaceful, stable Afghanistan. Although, she repeated the stance of the US on the Peace Process and Presidential elections as two independent processes in the country, but she clarified that for the US Peace was more important that the Presidential elections in the country; It is a fair peace that can bring durable stability, economic development and prosperity to the Afghan nation and can put an end to the several decades of the suffering of the Afghan people. Referring to the ethnic concerns, she clearly said that Taliban shall respect the rights of the ethnic minority groups and women rights in the country as the key principles and values of a democratic system.
Discussing Preparations for the upcoming presidential elections
Elections is always a controversial issue in Afghanistan. The latest example is the Parliamentary elections that not only was one of the most delayed announced elections but also one of the most corrupt and fraudulent ones as well. As a result, elections as a democratic process in Afghanistan, has not been much transparent and credible, so people have lost their trust to the process and electoral institutions. Considering this, during her visit, Wells met with stakeholders of the September 28 Afghan Presidential Elections to learn about ongoing preparations and underscore US commitment to a transparent and efficient presidential elections process. She reaffirmed US Support for transparent and credible elections in order to have a strong and legitimate government in Afghanistan to be able to cooperate and work with the US, regional and international community for a better future of Afghanistan.
The Way Forward
It is crystal cut that ensuring peace and economic development without military and economic supports of the US is impossible in the country. Thus, the presence of the US is necessary in Afghanistan. In order to ensure such long term and strategic partnership, BSA is the best framework for sustainable partnership between the two countries. Even if there is a peace deal with the Taliban, it is necessary to review and align the BSA according to the new political conditions of the country. For many Afghan citizens, the presence of the US and observing the implementation of the peace deal along with the UN is the only mechanism that ensures them that they will not be suppressed and marginalized once more by the Taliban as a hardline group that does not tolerate religious and ethnic diversity.
Alice Well’s visit to Kabul was one of the strong indications of US continuous support to Afghanistan. Reviewing US-Afghan Civilians Assistance promotes strong governance and self-reliance in the country. And the US support of the Intra-Afghan Peace talks that must consider the inclusion of all Afghans, ensuring the rights of minority groups, women rights, and humans rights will guarantee a dignified and acceptable peace deal. A transparent and credible elections supported by the US, regional and international community will ensure a strong government that can work as a reliable partner with the US, regional and international community to achieve Peace and prosperity in the country.