Foreign Policy Isn’t Personal Issue, it Defines National Interests: Abdullah

(Last Updated On: March 17, 2019)

The remarks by the National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib who criticized the U.S. approach towards Afghan reconciliation continued to meet with reactions on Sunday.

During his visit to Washington DC last week, Mohib described the U.S.’s talks with the Taliban as surrender discussion.

He said that the U.S. chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad is keeping the “duly elected” Afghan government in dark and that in the latest round of talks in Doha, they were humiliated and made to wait in a hotel lobby.

“We don’t know what’s going on. We don’t have the kind of transparency that we should have,” Mohib said, adding that the Afghan government was getting the information in bits and pieces.

“The last people to find out (about the peace talks) are us,” Mohib said.

His remarks against Khalilzad sparked a strong reaction of the U.S. State Department.

The department summoned Mohib and rejected his comments. It said Mohib’s comments only serve to hinder the bilateral relationship and the peace process.

Following the matter, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that national interests have the highest value for the government officials and that it should be a priority in foreign policy.

He said foreign policy defines Afghanistan’s national interests and that it is not a “personal” or an “amateur” issue.

He stressed that the United States has made “great” sacrifices and invested “significant” resources to help Afghanistan’s security and development.

“Our relations with the United States encompass all aspects of our national interests, and sure to withstand momentary sentiments of any particular politicians or officials,” Abdullah said.

Chief Executive also said that peace is their priority, but “honorable and dignified” peace.

“Peace will have a realistic chance only when all Afghans sit together to talk about it,” Abdullah said.

Meanwhile, Sayed Ishaq Gilani said that considering the current situation of Afghanistan, Mohib was not asked to deliver such remarks. 

“I don’t want to be too critical on the government because it is remained unaware [of peace talks], and has the right to object. However, this issue is not in our favor at the given time when we are moving towards achieving peace,” Gilani said.

However, in apparent response, NSA Hamdullah Mohib, a series of tweets on March 15 said that he voiced Afghan people’s legitimate concerns and made Afghanistan’s principled position clear.

“True peace is our people’s innate desire and our primary duty and our responsibility is to the 35 million Afghans, who aspire an honest and lasting peace, but also to all our partners who have invested in our country and people,” Mohib tweeted.

He said the Afghan people and government value their partnership with the United States and are especially “grateful” for America’s “generous” support to our armed forces.

 “As foundational partners, Afghans will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States to fight terrorism in order to ensure our joint security interests, as well as in pursuit of an honest, transparent, and just peace,” he added.

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