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UN urges parties to Afghan conflict to hold “direct talks”

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — UN envoy to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto on Tuesday called on both sides in the conflict in the country to engage in “direct talks as soon as possible,” during a debate in the Security Council following a US decision to halt Negotiations with the Taliban.

The statement came days after US President Donald Trump announced a halt to negotiations with the Taliban over a US military withdrawal from Afghanistan, justifying his decision to kill a US soldier in an attack claimed by the Taliban.

Yamamoto said recent developments reveal “the need to find a political solution to the long Afghan conflict,” adding that “the solution to the conflict can only be found through direct talks between Afghans, and it is necessary to start direct talks between Afghanistan and the Taliban as soon as possible.”

The deal being negotiated between the United States and the Taliban included the start of a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in exchange for guarantees that the Taliban would control the situation in a way that would prevent planning terrorist operations against the United States, curbing violence and conducting direct negotiations between the Taliban and the Kabul government. The movement rejects it.

Regarding the upcoming presidential elections, the UN envoy considered that “attacks on polling stations and on civilians who participate in the electoral process are unacceptable,” adding in this context, “I appeal to the Taliban to withdraw this threat.”

Yamamoto fears that participation in these elections will be weak, with fraud.

The United Nations’ political mission in Afghanistan is due to end in mid-September.

Contacts are under way to present a draft resolution to the UN Security Council for a one-year renewal, but the talks appear to be very difficult, diplomats said, due to China’s insistence on including a paragraph referring to the economic development program known as the “Silk Road”, which the United States rejects. .

Yamamoto expressed regret that “a member of the Security Council rejects unanimity for reasons unrelated to the UN mission in Afghanistan.”

Diplomats said Beijing had threatened almost directly that it would veto if the renewal did not include a reference to the Silk Road project.

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