The Kabul Process II: Peace & Security Cooperation took place at ARG 28th and 29th of February 2018, co-hosted by the H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and H.E. Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah, and attended by NATO, EU, UN and 28 countries. The UK delegation was led by the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mr. Gareth Bayley as well as the UK Ambassador to Afghanistan HE Sir Nicholas Kay.
The conference comes at a critical time in Afghanistan, whereby – after decades of violence – an Afghan-led and an Afghan-owned peace process is of the highest priority for the National Unity Government. Although Afghanistan’s National Security Forces have shown strong capability in taking the lead of the country’s security, the Kabul Process II recognises that the sustainable mean of ending conflict is through a negotiated political settlement. This was emphasised by both President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and H.E. Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah in their opening and closing remarks of the conference, acknowledging that the credibility of the peace plan hinges largely on its ability to deliver for the Afghan people.
Speaking at the conference, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani reiterated the Afghan Government’s will and determination for peace through dialogue with Taliban. “A ceasefire should be held, the Taliban should be recognised as a political party and trust-building process should be initiated. (…) Now the decision is in your hands, accept peace (…) and let’s bring stability to this country”, he said. This was supported by H.E. Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah who stated that “We are ready to talk directly, without conditions or threat of violence”. The international community attending the conference expressed support for the National Unity Government for organising the Meeting, stressing the necessity to conduct international cooperation in accordance with the principles of international law. They also expressed the importance of support resolution A/RES/60/288 “UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy” and the need to continue the important work to promote equal rights of all Afghans, including women, under the Afghan Constitution.
Of course, many challenges remain in Afghanistan but through the Kabul Process II and in the newly released Afghan Peace Plan, the Government set out its plans to address these challenges, and the international community its commitments to support these, under three main headings: (1) The recognition of Taliban as a Political Party; (2) Ease sanctions on Taliban; and (3) Start a new Chapter with Pakistan by “leaving the past behind”. Throughout the Conference, the Government and the international community thus recognised the close inter-linkage between security, politics and development; the need for strong political will from both the Government of Afghanistan and the leaders of the Taliban to implement reforms together with continued support from the international community; and the importance of demonstrating tangible results for all the people of Afghanistan.
At the Embassy in London, we particularly recognised the contribution of the Foreign Commonwealth Office UK, and the importance of continued British engagement in the transition to a secure and to stable Afghanistan.
Video: Thank you Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field, for your support of the Kabul Process II.
The next meeting of Kabul Process will assess the progress achieved on the above-mentioned areas. The Kabul Process II was attended by:
Sweden (Nordic Plus)
United Arab Emirates