27 Mar 2018 20:23

Taliban should forgo violence, terror, become legitimate political player - Tashkent declaration

TASHKENT. March 27 (Interfax) - The terrorist organization the Taliban (banned in Russia) could become a legitimate political player if it participates in peace negotiations, according to the text of the declaration adopted following the international conference on a settlement for Afghanistan in Tashkent.

On Tuesday, the press service of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry published the text of the declaration, which urges the Afghan government and the Taliban to launch a political settlement process.

"An inclusive peace agreement will be a victory for all its parties and a defeat for none. It should guarantee the inclusion of the Taliban in the political process as a legitimate political actor, the renunciation by the Taliban of violence and breaking of all ties to international terrorism, including Al-Qaeda, ISIS/Daesh [banned in Russia] and other Transnational Terrorist Networks (TTNs), as well as the respect of the Afghan Constitution including the equal rights of all Afghans," the declaration said.

Participants in the conference urged Taliban members to recognize their share of responsibility for the establishment of peace and security in Afghanistan and officially declare their readiness to enter into direct peace negotiations with the government through a mutually recognized format.

Participants in the conference also acknowledged the importance of international and regional initiatives to maintain peace and stability in Afghanistan implemented under the leadership of the Afghans and through their efforts, in particular the Kabul Process, as a main forum and instrument led by the Afghan government.

The declaration also supports Central Asian countries' efforts to promote the peace process and socio-economic development in Afghanistan and their participation in regional political and economic processes.

The document stresses that all security assistance to Afghanistan should be provided through the Afghan government.

"[We] strongly oppose any provision of financial support, material assistance or arms to the Taliban and ISIS/Daesh, which only serves to destabilize Afghanistan and prolong the conflict," the declaration said.

As reported, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, and the United States' Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon participated in the conference in Tashkent.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov headed the Russian delegation. In addition, British, German, and Italian special representatives on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Japanese foreign ministry's special advisor, the special envoy of the Qatari Foreign Ministry, and high-level delegations from NATO, CSTO, France, and the United Arab Emirates took part.