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DATE PUBLISHED: 1399/08/14 - 22:20:5
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EU, Pakistan Vow to Work for Afghan Peace

The European Union (EU) and Pakistan on Wednesday released a joint statement, reaffirming their determination to strengthen in a strategic way their long-term, forward-looking and broad-based partnership for peace, development and prosperity.

Known as the "The Strategic Engagement Plan" was signed between the two sides in June 2019 and it provides a framework for their bilateral engagements and ambitions in this area.

In the declaration, the EU and Pakistan voiced support for the start of intra-Afghan talks in Doha and called on the warring parties, mainly the Taliban and the Afghan government to agree on a humanitarian ceasefire.

"The EU and Pakistan wish to jointly reflect on the current state of play of the Afghan Peace Process, and encourage its unwavering continuation," the statement said.

In the declaration, the two parties have also voiced support to the peace agreement signed between the US and the Taliban in Doha on February 29 and also the parallel Declaration between the Afghan government and the US.

"Both documents are important, but initial, steps towards the start of genuine Intra-Afghan Peace negotiations in order to find a just and durable solution to the conflict," the declaration said.

The EU and Pakistan also welcome the start of the process of direct Intra-Afghan negotiations and the new chapter this opens, the declaration says.

EU and Pakistan have said that success of talks in Doha depends primarily upon the Taliban and the Afghan Government, and both sides should make earnest efforts for achieving lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

On the protection of gains Afghanistan made over the past two decades, the declaration said: "These negotiations should be held with the aim of protecting and strengthening the achievements of the last 19 years in the areas of socio-economic development, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, notably women and youth, and lay the democratic foundation of a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan."

On the Eid ceasefire, the declaration said: "The EU and Pakistan welcomed the mutual Eid ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban, as a highly relevant confidence-building measure between the two sides."

EU and Pakistan also said that the continued violence in Afghanistan is in sharp contradiction with regional aspirations for peace.

"The EU and Pakistan, therefore, call on the parties to observe a lasting humanitarian ceasefire, in response to the global appeal by UN Secretary-General Guterres, and to strive towards a complete elimination of violence as a clear demonstration of their genuine commitment to lasting peace and reconciliation," the declaration further said.

This comes at a time that a prospect for a ceasefire in the country continues to remain in a standstill.

261 Civilians Killed in Taliban Attacks in 50 Days

On October 31, the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoI) said that at least 900 civilians were either killed or wounded as a result of Taliban violence in the last 50 days, adding that the group conducted roughly 2,000 attacks during this period.

The Interior Affairs Ministry said that 261 Afghan civilians were killed and 602 more were wounded in Taliban attacks.

The Afghan government on Saturday said that it released over 6,000 Taliban prisoners for peace with the hope that violence is reduced and a ceasefire is announced, but the Taliban acted against the governmentís "goodwill gesture", defied its commitments and increased attacks on Afghans.

In latest incident of violence, two insurgents attacked Kabul University on Monday and killed at least 18 students and wounded dozens more.

Afghanistanís government blamed the Taliban for the attack.

The Taliban however denied involvement.

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/21024


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