Conflicts & War

Karzai says ‘serious’ Afghan peace talks to kick off soon

Kabul, Jul 13 (EFE).- Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday that “serious” peace talks between the government and the Taliban will begin soon, even as the insurgents have recently captured a large number of districts, taking advantage of the United States’ withdrawal from the country.

“We will reach peace, you will very soon witness the resumption of serious peace talks,” Karzai, who still has significant influence in Afghan politics despite not occupying any government post since his presidency ended in 2014, said at a press conference in Kabul.

The ex-president called upon both parties to “stop the war,” especially urging the Taliban to not destroy vital infrastructure such as roads and bridges in their latest offensive.

“You will achieve nothing by capturing districts, come to the peace table,” Karzai said, highlighting the need to save Afghan institutions.

The Taliban’s continuous advance has led to fears that Afghanistan might lose the progress it has achieved in the last two decades in areas such as governance, human rights and women’s rights.

However, Karzai insisted that Afghans would continue to enjoy their rights when the country achieves peace.

In the last two months, the Taliban have drastically increased their territorial gains, capturing around 120 Afghan district centers out of a total 407, and claim to have control over 85 percent of Afghanistan’s territory.

Karzai also urged educated Afghans, who have tried to migrate from the country in recent months to escape the violence, to stay back.

“Don’t leave Afghanistan. Stay and serve your land and build your country,” he said.

Karzai’s remarks come amid efforts by the Afghan government and the international community to restart the stalled peace negotiations in Doha.

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