Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Abdullah Calls for Dialogue and Decisions, Not Speeches, at Istanbul Summit

Abdullah Calls for  Dialogue and Decisions, Not Speeches, at  Istanbul Summit

KABUL - Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), said this week he hopes “tangible progress” will be made towards a peace settlement at the Istanbul meeting scheduled for April.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview, Abdullah said the presence of decision-makers expected to attend the meeting needs to be utilized to push accelerate the settlement of issues in Afghanistan.
“There have been a lot of discussions between both sides in the past few months in Doha. The Doha process will continue and then we have the Istanbul meeting. The Istanbul meeting will be held at a high level.
“There will be top leaders of Afghanistan and Taliban — that’s how it is anticipated,” Abdullah said.
He also urged that the Istanbul opportunity should not be used to give speeches; instead, it should focus on working for “tangible progress.”
“The final, final, final agreement, of course, it takes time, but we should at least agree on few principles. And an agreement on a cease-fire will be very, very important,” Abdullah added.
Anadolu reported that Abdullah emphasized that it was time to go beyond the US – Taliban agreement signed in Doha in February last year that stipulates the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan by May 1. He sought to cut a deal directly between the Afghan government and the Taliban, reported Anadolu.
He said the Taliban’s readiness to move ahead would be tested in the coming days, underlining that Afghan government is ready to have direct agreements.
“Eventually, it has to be a comprehensive agreement between us, there is something between the US and the Taliban, but eventually, we need to agree. The readiness of the Taliban remains to be seen. It will be tested before the meeting in Turkey,” said Abdullah.
Asked about a possible offensive the Taliban might launch if the US fails to fulfill its obligations, Abdullah said the Afghan sides should not be dependent on the US and should work together to end the presence of foreign troops in the country.
“That [Taliban’s threat to resume hostilities] is unfortunate because eventually, we should sort out this among ourselves. We should find a solution, which will work for both sides. And if there is peace, then there is no need for the presence of the international troops,” he told Andadolu. (ATN)