Afghan Talks: Rival Sides Agree To Work To Reduce Civilian Casualties

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Afghan Talks: Rival Sides Agree To Work To Reduce Civilian Casualties

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Two-day peace talks, attended by around 60 Afghan government delegates and 17 Taliban representatives in the Qatari capital of Doha, have ended with both sides calling to reduce civilian casualties.

“… Committed to respect and protect the dignity of people, their life and property and to minimise the civilian casualties to zero,” a joint statement released at the end of the talks in Doha said late on July 8.

The sides also pledged to guarantee the security of public institutions: “religious centers, schools, hospitals, educational centers, bazaars, water dams and workplaces.” Nonetheless, they were not able to reach a fully-fledged ceasefire deal.

The final statement called for the following steps to build a trusted environment for peace and keep the nation safe from the war and its consequences:

(A) – Unconditional release of elder, disabled and ill inmates.

(B) – Ensuring the safety of public institutions including schools, madrassas, hospitals, markets, water dams, and workplaces.

(C) – Respect educational institutions.

(D) – Respect and protect the dignity of the people, their life and property and minimize civilian casualties to zero. Assuring that women’s rights are ensured in political, social, economic, educational and cultural areas within the framework of Islamic values. Agreeing on a roadmap for peace based on the following conditions: Institutionalizing Islamic system in the country. Start of the peace process simultaneously with the accomplishment of all terms and conditions set forth. Monitoring and observation of the peace agreement. Required reforms and support of basic institutions, defense and other institutions which belong to Afghans. Repatriation of migrants and return of internally displaced persons. Support and assistance from donor countries for peace agreement based on the new cooperation and relations. Insist during international conferences regarding the assurance of Afghanistan’s peace agreement. Assurance on zero interference from neighboring and regional countries in Afghanistan’s affairs.

We urge the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the United Nations, the European Union and Afghanistan’s neighboring countries to approve and support the joint resolution of the Intra-Afghan Dialogue Conference on Peace in Doha.

As it was expected the Taliban and the Kabul government cannot reach a comprehensive political agreement to settle the crisis before a similar agreement between the US and the Taliban. The US-led NATO coalition still has a large number of forces in the country and their presence there, according to the Taliban, is the main setback to peace.

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