World Bank Begins Consultations On Post-Peace Deal Initiatives; Norway ‘Ready’ To Host Afghan Peace Negotiations

World Bank Begins Consultations On Post-Peace Deal Initiatives

Tolo News

22 August 2019 

The World Bank on Wednesday has begun consultation with stakeholders to identify economic initiatives to support and sustain peace in Afghanistan after a potential political settlement is reached with the Taliban.

The World Bank said in a statement on Thursday that the international organization is now seeking broader input from all stakeholders and made public several draft documents on its website to facilitate the process.

At the 2018 Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan, the World Bank was tasked to support planning for post-settlement economic development projects and programming following discussions, the statement said.

The World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan, Henry Kerali, said the consultations will serve several purposes.

“First, we want to show that a peace agreement can bring substantial economic benefits to all Afghans and is in the interest of all parties involved in the ongoing conflict. Second, we want to identify potential principles and themes to guide programming decisions following a settlement. Finally, we want to provide some concrete ideas about the kind of programs that could be scaled up or initiated to maintain peace and realize new economic opportunities in Afghanistan,” Mr. Kerali said.

He noted that the consultations come at a critical time for Afghanistan.

“The World Bank is merely providing technical analysis and is not involved in any negotiations; our priority is to plan for the future of Afghanistan,” he said.

Mr. Kerali added that “peace prospects can improve if the right economic conditions are in place and create job opportunities for those who might otherwise take up arms”.

Consultations are expected to continue until a peace agreement is reached and new programming decisions are made, the statement said.


Norway ‘Ready’ To Host Afghan Peace Negotiations

Tolo News

21 August 2019 

The Norwegian special envoy for Afghanistan, Per Albert Ilsaas, in a meeting with Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that his country is ready to host intra-Afghan negotiations and that it is working for facilitating the talks, Mr. Abdullah’s office said in a statement.

The statement said that Mr. Abdullah and the Norwegian envoy discussed latest developments in the preparations of Norway for hosting intra-Afghan negotiations.

The talks are expected to take place after the US signs a peace deal with the Taliban in Doha – probably in the coming days.

Mr. Abdullah said in a tweet that called his meeting with Norway’s special envoy for Afghanistan productive.

“We discussed the Afghan peace process and the Afghan presidential election. I welcomed Norway’s readiness to host the Afghan peace talks with the support of Germany and the US,” he said.

This comes as US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad resumed his trip to Qatar and Afghanistan, the US Department of State said in a statement on Tuesday.

In Doha, Ambassador Khalilzad will resume talks with the Taliban as part of an overall effort to facilitate a peace process that ends the conflict in Afghanistan, the statement said.

The statement added that in Kabul, Mr. Khalilzad will consult with the leadership of the Afghan government on the peace process and encourage full preparation for intra-Afghan negotiations.

The US and Taliban representatives have been negotiating since October 12, 2018, in Doha, capital of Qatar to strike a peace deal and end the 18 years’ war in the country.

Both sides hope to finalize a peace deal after eight rounds of the peace talks in Doha and UAE.


World Bank Begins Consultations On Post-Peace Deal Initiatives; Norway ‘Ready’ To Host Afghan Peace Negotiations