Not inviting Taliban to Bonn Conference was a historic mistake

Masoom Stanekzai, the head of the Afghan negotiation team, said on Wednesday that the decision to not invite the Taliban to Bonn Conference 2001 was “a historic mistake” and it prolonged the conflict in Afghanistan

Dec 31, 2020
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Masoom Stanekzai, the head of the Afghan negotiation team, said on Wednesday that the decision to not invite the Taliban to Bonn Conference 2001 was “a historic mistake” and it prolonged the conflict in Afghanistan. 

Speaking at a conference in the Afghanistan Institute for Strategic Studies in Kabul, Stanekzai stated two key driving factors behind the conflict: the absence of all Afghan factions and the competition among regional and world countries for influence in Afghanistan

“If they (the Taliban) had attended the meeting, there would have been no need for negotiations,” he said. 

He also said the republic negotiation team represents democratic Afghanistan and we would make every effort to bring peace to the country. Stanekzai, however, warned the Taliban of sabotaging the peace process. 

In case talks fail, he said, “There will be one way left for the people of Afghanistan, that is public mobilization against the Taliban, and this time the mobilization will be much easier.”  

He also said the team will now focus on ending the war permanently in the next round of the intra-Afghan talks scheduled for early next year. Saving the government system and democratic gains of the last 20 years will be a priority for us, he added. 

“First there is the issue of security which has a major significance for the Afghan people-the talks about security involve ceasefire and the protection of the highways and also the issue of drugs,” he was quoted as saying by TOLOnews.

Furthermore, he criticized the delay in the formation of the High Council for National Reconciliation, saying people want a greater presence in the council and the grand assembly of the council is yet to be finalized.

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