The recent peace deal between the Afghan government and Hezb-e Islami-led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar could be a model for reconciliation with the Taliban and the group should look at it as a path to an “honorable” peace in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.
Kerry told an international conference in Brussels to raise funds for the Western-backed Afghan government that the Taliban could not win on the battlefield.
He pointed to a peace agreement announced last week with the Hezb-i-Islami militant group headed by Hekmatyar, “one of the country’s most notorious figures.”
“This a model for what might be possible … I think the message from every person here would be to the Taliban, take note,” Kerry said.
“There is a path forward towards an honorable end to the conflict that the Taliban have waged – it is a conflict that cannot and will not be won on the battlefield. A political settlement negotiated with the Afghan government is the only way to end the fighting, ensure lasting stability, and achieve a full drawdown ultimately of international military forces, which is their goal,” he said.
“Their goal of ridding Afghanistan of external forces will not occur by … the continued insurgency, it will come though peace,” Kerry added.
Last week’s agreement requires Hekmatyar to cease violence, cut all ties with international militant groups, and accept the Afghan constitution, including its guarantee of rights for women and minorities.
“In return for keeping these commitments, Hekmatyar’s group will be able to emerge from the shadows to rejoin Afghan society,” Kerry said.
“The Taliban and their allies cannot wait us out … We will not abandon our Afghan friends,” he added.
In the meantime, US Secretary of State John Kerry called for Russia, China, Pakistan, India and Iran to help Afghanistan overcome its problems, including the Taliban insurgency.
Afghanistan’s neighbors should play a more active role in the region in order to bring prosperity and peace to the country, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday.
“I urge Russia, China, Pakistan, India and Iran to think about the special role that they could play in this region in order to help make a major difference not only in the long term economy and future and social structure of Afghanistan but in reaching peach with the Taliban,” Kerry said at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is in a state of political and social turmoil, with government forces fighting the continuing Taliban insurgency, while the Daesh terror group, outlawed in Russia, has also expanded its activities both in the country and in the neighboring states.