Representatives of China, Russia, and the United States held their 3rd consultation on the Afghan peace process in Beijing, where they encouraged all parties to take steps to reduce violence leading to a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire that starts with intra-Afghan negotiations, the U.S. Department of State said in a statement.
The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad attended the summit after he concluded the seventh round of peace negotiations with the Taliban delegates in Doha, the capital of Qatar on July 9.
“We agreed “intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban, Afghan government, and other Afghans should start immediately,” Khalilzad said in a tweet.
“These negotiations should produce a peace framework as soon as possible; and detail a future inclusive political arrangement acceptable to all Afghans,” he added.
“We also agreed that violence needs to slow now and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire should start with intra-Afghan negotiations,” said Khalilzad adding, “We agreed we will expand and ask more international partners to join with the start of negotiations. Very positive.”
The China, Russia, and the United States welcomed Pakistan joining the consultation and believe that Pakistan can play an important role in facilitating peace in Afghanistan, the statement said.
The four sides exchanged views on the current situation and joint efforts for realizing a political settlement to advance peace, stability, and prosperity of Afghanistan and the region, the statement added.
The four sides emphasized the importance of the trilateral consensus on the Afghan peace process reached in Moscow on April 25, 2019.
All sides welcomed recent positive progress as the crucial parties concerned have advanced their talks and increased contacts with each other.
All sides also welcomed intra-Afghan meetings held in Moscow and Doha.
The four sides called for relevant parties to grasp the opportunity for peace and immediately start intra-Afghan negotiations between the Taliban, the Afghan government, and other Afghans.
“They re-affirmed negotiations should be “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” and further agreed that these negotiations should produce a peace framework as soon as possible,” the statement said.
“This framework should guarantee the orderly and responsible transition of the security situation and detail an agreement on a future inclusive political arrangement acceptable to all Afghans,” the statement noted.
The four sides agreed to maintain the momentum of consultation, will invite other important stakeholders to join on the basis of the trilateral consensus agreed on April 25, 2019, in Moscow, and this broader group will meet when intra-Afghan negotiations start.
The date and venue for the next consultation will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels, the statement concluded.