UNITED NATIONS: The Afghan leaders have told members of the UN Security Council that the existence of the Taliban safe haven across the border is one of the main obstacles to the peace process, the UNSC president said today.
Fresh from a just concluded visit of a UNSC delegation to Kabul, its president for the month of January Kairat Umarov of Kazakhstan told reporters there was unanimity that the conflict has to end and that it takes more than a purely military solution.
The Kabul visit of UN Security Council members came ahead of the Kabul Process meeting next month where the Afghan government is expected to present its strategy for reaching a settlement with the armed opposition.
"There was unanimity that the conflict has to end and that it takes more than a purely military solution. Only comprehensive efforts would defeat the armed opposition. There is no military solution in Afghanistan in the absence of a political process," Kairat said.
"The main obstacle to peace, according to a number of interlocutors within the government and the parliament, is the existences of 'safe havens' and sanctuaries for the Taliban abroad. The Government reiterated its readiness to engage constructively with neighboring countries to curb terrorism and negotiate," said the president of the UN Security Council.
During its visit, the UN Security Council mission was briefed about the structure and work of the High Peace Council and its plans for 2017 to 2020.
Building on the positive experience of the 2016 peace agreement with Hizb-i Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the Peace Council plans to initiate talks with Taliban, he said.
"Yet, some interlocutress were not too optimistic, claiming that there was no significant steps towards establishing a peace process by the Taliban despite overtures by the government. At the same time, working with the Taliban as a fragmented movement and not as a political party complicates prospects for constructive dialogue," Kairat said.