Building Peace and Connectivity through Research and Dialogue

Track 2 Dialogue Series Building a Peaceful Afghanistan: Regional and International Support for Afghan Peace

The 9th meeting of the Heart of Asia Society (HAS) Track2 Dialogue Series on Regional and International Support for Afghan Peace was held yesterday in collaboration with Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Center and Center for International Cooperation at New York University.  Keynote address was delivered by His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of HCNR.

The 9th meeting of the Track2 Dialogue Series focused on the challenges of the Afghan peace process, the new US proposal for expediting the process, the future of the Doha process and recent regional initiatives, including Troika+ meeting in Moscow and HoA-IP conference in Dushanbe.

Looking forward to the upcoming important conference in Istanbul, participants at the Track2 DialogueSeries discussed the state of preparations, including on the proposed agenda, including ceasefire, power-sharing arrangement and an expedited roadmap to political settlement.

  • Despite differences and challenges, the Islamic Republic’s side is working on preparing a unified position on all the key agenda items, including power-sharing, to take to Istanbul. The Taliban side has not yet come up with any specific proposal. If Istanbul is to succeed, more preparations are required.
  • Doha negotiations must continue in the run up to the Istanbul Conference. To ensure progress, the role of a mediator is seriously needed.  Will the role of the new UNSG’s personal enovy, Jean Arnault, involve mediation or facilitation?
  • The Islamic Republic team attending the Turkey conference will include senior political leaders as well as the government negotiating team. The HCNR sees the Turkey conference as an opportunity for the government and the Taliban to discuss and reach broad agreement on the key, fundamental issues incl. the end state of the peace process, transitional arrangements and ceasefire.
  • It was emphasized that any agreement emerging out of the ongoing process must preserve and strengthen Afghanistan’s existing state institutions, including the ANDSF.
  • Participants also agreed it’s no longer a choice but a necessity for an empowered mediator to enter the process. Such a mediator must be impartial and receive a strong mandate from the UNSC. It was agreed that in the continued absence of a mediator, more time could be lost in the process.
  • Participants from Afghanistan and outside called for meaningful inclusion of women and civil society in the peace process, especially in the upcoming conference in Turkey.
  • Participants also underlined the vital importance of an international guarantee for the implementation of an eventual peace agreement.