Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has welcomed the United States’ recent approach towards the Afghan peace process, saying it most likely to produce a result for the stability of Afghanistan and the region.
Speaking in an interview with Kazakh TV in Kazakhstan, Karzai said that due to the wrong policies of the United States in the last 17 years, the level of insurgency with the presence of Daesh militant group has raised in Afghanistan.
He stressed that the U.S. has attacked Afghan houses, put the people in prisons as well as ignored the sanctuaries beyond the borders and that the issue has overshadowed the cooperation of regional powers including Russia, China, and India with the United States in his war-weary country.
However, Karzai welcomed the U.S.’s recent move to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan by appointing Zalmay Khalilzad as Washington’s envoy for Afghan peace.
“…recently, the United States launched a new peace process with the Taliban by the appointment of Ambassador Khalilzad which I wholeheartedly welcomed as the right thing in Afghanistan and an approach that will hopefully and most likely produce a result for Afghanistan and for the region towards peace and stability and all that,” Karzai said.
Regarding the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan he said:” If they bring peace to Afghanistan. if they become partners in peace and security and development for Afghanistan, the Afghan people would like to keep them in Afghanistan.”
However, Karzai said that in case of the continuation of Afghanistan war and Washington’s rivalries with major powers in the region, “the presence of the United States in Afghanistan will not be tenable.”
The former Afghan president, meanwhile said that he sees the recent Moscow meeting on Afghanistan – where the Taliban and Afghan High Peace Council delegations met and discussed peace process – as a positive step.
“A first step that will definitely give us results and we hope that it will continue to keep convening and keep looking for a solution eventually that suits all of us,” Karzai said.
Regarding the recent U.S.-Taliban peace talks in Qatar, Karzai stressed that the talks should be in form of an intra-Afghan dialogue.
“The direct talks between the U.S. and the Taliban is a reality now, and Taliban are a reality in Afghanistan too. That reality should be taken into consideration. The talks should be an inter-dialogue between Afghans and Taliban, and it should reflect the will of Afghan people from across the country.” he said.
Karzai emphasized that the talks should have also the support of major regional powers like China, Russia, and India as it will give a “real power” to the Afghan peace process.
” The role of neighboring countries on these talks will be of great importance,” he said.