Peace Should Not Put Human Rights At Risk: EU Envoy
By Sayed Sharif Amiri
Tolo News (Afghanistan)
21 march 2019
In a video message on occasion of Nowruz Festival, Pierre Mayaudon, the Head of European Union’s Delegation to Afghanistan on Thursday said that peace process in Afghanistan should not put human rights, specifically the rights of Afghan women, at risk.
He said that there are serious concerns among the EU members about a potential compromise on the gains Afghanistan has obtained in its strides towards democracy, specially in the area of human rights and the rights of women and the young population of the country.
Mayadoun called on the Afghan people to combat the fears emerging out of peace process by strengthening their unity and promoting democracy starting with the elections later this year.
“This new year comes with a sense of hope, but unfortunately also of fear. Hope that soon after years of conflict peace will come to Afghanistan, but fear that this peace will come with a compromise on human rights, specially rights of women and of the young population. Let’s combat this fear with unity, solidarity and strengthening of democracy starting with good elections in 2019,” said Mayaudon.
Meanwhile, former ambassador of Taliban to Islamabad Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef said that the Taliban is preparing for a meeting with the Afghan political elites in which the two sides will discuss the country’s internal issues.
“Efforts are underway for an intra-Afghan dialogue on 14th of 15th of April in Qatar,” said Zaeef.
“Any topic which is considered in the interests of Afghanistan and its agenda is clear and not vague, no doubt, the high peace council of Afghanistan will give positive response to it,” said HPC spokesman Sayed Ehsan Taheri.
But the Taliban who attended a meeting with Afghan politicians in Moscow last month have persistently said that the group will not talk to the Afghan government and instead branded the government in Kabul as “puppet”.
At the Moscow meeting, delegates from Taliban and politicians issued a joint declaration in which they outlined a nine point approach to promote “intra-Afghan” dialogue aimed at finding a political settlement to the conflict in the country.
The delegates unanimously agreed to hold the next round of talks in Qatar’s capital Doha as soon as possible.
Taliban’s chief negotiator Abbas Stanakzai said in his opening remarks to delegates at the Moscow Peace Talks meeting last month that the group does not consider the current Afghan Constitution “legitimate” and that this blueprint was an obstacle to peace.
Stanakzai said that once US forces withdraw, the Taliban will not demand political monopoly and that in order to achieve sustainable peace, the names of Taliban leaders must be removed from the US blacklist so that they can travel freely in their efforts for peace.
This comes at a time that The fifth round of the talks between the US and Taliban negotiators in Qatar ended after 16 days on 12 of March with agreement in draft between the two sides on some key issues under debate.
The four main topics of US-Taliban talks in Qatar have been US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, ensuring that Afghanistan’s territory is not used as a threat to any other country, a comprehensive ceasefire and direct talks with the Afghan government. This was confirmed by the Afghan government as well as by sources ahead of the talks.