KABUL: In a letter addressed to Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken offers four recommendations for the Afghan peace process following the seeming deadlock among the Afghan negotiating sides.
Retrieved by ToloNews TV channel, the letter reads the US will pursue diplomatic efforts for peace that comprise several steps. “First, a meeting with the foreign ministers and envoys of Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, and the United States should be convened by the United Nations to discuss a cohesive approach to support stability in Afghanistan.”
The next step includes written recommendations to accelerate discussions on a negotiated settlement and ceasefire that US envoy Khalilzad should share with President Ghani and Taliban leaders. According to Blinken, “these recommendations represent some of the concepts included in the roadmap for the peace process.”
“Third, Turkey will be invited to hold a senior-level meeting between the two parties in the coming weeks to finalize a peace deal. Ghani or his “authoritative designees,” says Blinken, should join the conference.
And finally, a revised plan for a 90-day reduction in violence has been prepared “to avert the Taliban’s spring offensive…to coincide with diplomatic attempts to support a political solution between the two sides.”
Blinken, meanwhile, informs President Ghani that the US hadn’t ruled out any options in Afghanistan. “As we consider other options, we are contemplating a complete withdrawal of our forces by May 1,” he writes.
The Secretary of State also warned the Afghan administration that even if the US continued financial assistance to security forces after US withdrawal, Taliban would still make rapid territorial gains.
It is worth mentioning that Blinken has sent a similar letter to Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation.