Afghan ambassador praises Qatar’s role in US-Taliban peace talks
August 31 2019 09:24 PM
Dalili.... lauds Qatar's role as an impartial facilitator
Dalili.... lauds Qatar's role as an impartial facilitator

By Mudassir Raja Staff Reporter

*Intra-Afghan dialogue to follow US-Taliban talks

Abdul Hakim Dalili, the newly-appointed ambassador of Afghanistan to Qatar, has hailed the role of the government of Qatar in the ongoing peace talks between the Taliban and the US in Doha.

In an interview with the Gulf Times, the ambassador appreciated the government of Qatar for playing a “constructive role” in the talks. “I would like to thank the wise leadership of Qatar [for hosting the talks]. The positive side of the mediation is that the Government of Qatar is impartial. They are not taking sides. They are just the facilitators. Qatar’s role is fully appreciated by the Afghan government.”

Giving the take of his government on the ongoing talks, Dalili said that his government has keenly been following the talks. “Though we wanted to be a part of the talks, the two negotiating sides first wanted to sort out some issues before the withdrawal of the US forces.”

The ambassador believes that the most important round of talks would be between the Afghan government and the Taliban. “Of course the Taliban are a group in Afghanistan. We have an elected and legitimate government with a majority of the country under its control. The government has been elected by the people and has made great achievements.”

The ambassador highlighted that his government has put no pre-conditions for the peace talks with the Taliban. “”Since President Ashraf Ghani took the office [in 2014], he has removed all pre-conditions for the sake of bringing in peace. He has said that the government has no conditions. The Taliban, however, has to accept the constitution of Afghanistan that is an Islamic constitution. It says that no law can be passed in Afghanistan that is against Islam. Anyone acceding to the constitution, they are welcome. They will enjoy same rights and privileges that any Afghan enjoys within the framework of our current constitution. Even our president invited the Taliban to open their office in Kabul.”

The ambassador is hopeful that soon after the ongoing peace talks, an intra-Afghanistan dialogue will take pace. “Both the US and the Taliban say that after they finished their round of talks, there will immediately be an intra-Afghanistan dialogue. For the dialogue, the government’s delegation will include around 15 delegations representing all sections of the Afghan society – religious scholars, civil society members, youth and women. It will be an inclusive delegation. We will try and convince them to stop the war. We are ready to talk to them.”

The ambassador, however, expressed his disappointment over Saturday’s attack by the Taliban on Kunduz. “All efforts are for peace and such acts of violence are very detrimental for peace and stability.”

Speaking very high of bilateral ties with Qatar, Dalili said Doha country has been supportive of the people of Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion. “Qatar has been continuously supporting the Afghan people in their just cause. Qatar has been accommodating Afghan expatriates in different walks of life.”

The ambassador said there were numerous Qatari businesspersons who have invested in Afghanistan. “There are lots of opportunities to enhance economic and cultural ties between the two countries."

He added: "In Afghanistan, there are great investment opportunities that can be beneficial for our neighbours also.”

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