Doha meet vows not to recognize imposed govt in Kabul amid Taliban sweep
Kabul, Aug 13 (EFE).- As Taliban fighters militarily sweep across Afghanistan, stakeholder nations have pinned their hopes on a stalled peace process, warning that they would not recognize any government in the country imposed through the use of military force.
At the end of the meeting in the Qatari capital late on Thursday, diplomats, including those from China, the United States, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, stressed the acceleration of the peace process on “a very urgent” basis.
They urged the Afghan government and the Taliban to take steps to build confidence and accelerate efforts to reach a political settlement after a comprehensive ceasefire “as soon as possible.”
The meeting of stakeholder nations came as the Qatar-brokered peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government remain stalled.
The diplomats called for an immediate cessation of violence and attacks on provincial capitals and cities of Afghanistan.
“(The) participants reaffirmed that they will not recognize any government in Afghanistan that is imposed through the use of military force,” said the statement issued by US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday morning.
They expressed “grave concerns” regarding large numbers of civilian casualties, extra-judicial killings, and widespread human rights violations in Afghanistan.
Qatar hosted the meeting as the Taliban continued making rapid advances in Afghanistan, capturing city after city and forcing the government troops to surrender or retreat.
The Islamist militia has gained control of 14 of the 34 provincial capitals and is advancing towards the capital.
In their latest offensive, the Taliban captured the second and the third-largest Afghan cities after Kabul.
The capture of Kandahar and Herat marks the most significant military victories yet for the Taliban in their weeks-long blitzkrieg of territorial gains.
Videos shared by the Taliban on social media show the insurgents firing their guns into the air as they make rapid advances.
Kandahar and several neighboring towns were under the Taliban siege for weeks as Afghan troops resisted the rapid advance by the insurgents.
After the withdrawal of international troops began on May 1, the US Air Force conducted several airstrikes to help Afghan forces push back the insurgents in Kandahar. EFE