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Moscow Meeting

Moscow Meeting, Peace Prospects and Ghani’s Foul Play

Afghan and Taliban delegations met with representatives of the United States, Russia, China and Pakistan at a one-day meeting in Moscow to review the Afghan peace process. The countries participating in the Moscow summit issued a statement on Thursday (March 18th) emphasizing the need to fulfill the Afghan people’s desire for a just peace in the country. The parties to the Moscow summit said in a statement that lasting peace in Afghanistan was possible only through political settlement and negotiation.
The presence of the Afghan delegation in this meeting has been challenging. The humiliating trip to Russia began when, prior to the delegation’s visit, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Moscow, Sayed Tayeb Javad, wrote in a letter to the Foreign Ministry that Russia was willing to pay only the hotel expenses of the six prominent members of the delegation. The hotel is the responsibility of the representatives of the High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR) and the government in this delegation and their entourage. Russian officials also apologized for providing transportation for the Afghan delegation. The government delegation’s high-profile trip to Moscow also faced humiliation, when tensions erupted as Foreign Minister Hanif Atmar announced to the Russians through Afghanistan’s ambassador to Moscow that Masoom Stanekzai would chair the delegation, which angered the chairman of the HCNR, and Abdullah Abdullah reacted strongly to the decision.
What Atmar wanted to pursue with this decision?
As foreign minister, Hanif Atmar is one of the current government officials led by Ashraf Ghani, and he is trying to bridge the gap between the negotiating team. Atmar is pursuing Ashraf Ghani’s goals in trying to marginalize Abdullah from the peace process. Ghani’s efforts to disrupt the peace process have been repeatedly condemned by domestic politicians and the international community, including the United States. Earlier, the US Secretary of State had called Ashraf Ghani and asked him not to obstruct peace! The Taliban also see Ghani as an obstacle to peace and say they are willing to work with the next government if he resigns.
What is Ashraf Ghani worried about?
Speaking at a summit in Kabul, President Ashraf Ghani expressed concern over the formation of a transitional government, saying he would not hand over power to his successor without elections. In fact, President Ghani is worried that he will lose power if a transitional or interim government is formed. Ashraf Ghani is thinking about staying in power. He seeks to divert people’s minds from the current negotiations by hanging on to his demands and making extensive efforts to waste time. Calling himself a peace hero and thinking the Taliban would talk to him, he now finds himself humiliated. That is why during his recent speeches, on the one hand, he ridicules the Taliban and on the other hand, he strongly encourages Afghan nationalism.
US policy on how to advance peace talks with the Taliban has challenged relations between Washington and President Ghani, who wants to take power. There is a perception among many Afghan people and political figures that Ghani may delay the peace process because of his desire to seize power, but the continued power of the president depends on where the process of peace talks will lead.
The problem is that Ghani fears the creation of an interim administration or caretaker and knows that his chances of winning the election are slim if an interim administration is established. The problem, however, is that neither Ghani’s international allies nor his political partners and rivals are satisfied with the changes that have taken place in the commissions. They do not believe in Ashraf Ghani’s commitment to a transparent election, and they know that if Ghani manages the election again, it will fail, and that is when there is no choice but to intervene. Therefore, if Ashraf Ghani wants to save Afghanistan from conspiracy, and implement peace in the country, he must go beyond selfishness and exclusivism in reaching a political consensus.
(Sahar News)

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