UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives as a step towards peace and reconciliation in the region.
In a statement to the press issued late Friday afternoon, the 15-member council said it encouraged the parties in the talks to continue building on their efforts through “an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned dialogue.” The council also voiced appreciation for the constructive roles played by the governments of Pakistan, China and the United States.
In addition to welcoming the engagement between the two sides, the Security Council on Friday also reiterated the vital role that women have to play in the peace process and recalled the need for “full, equal and effective participation of women at all its stages.”
The members of the council reaffirmed their commitment to supporting Afghanistan on its path towards peace, reconciliation, democracy and development.
The council’s statement follows that of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who welcomed the move and UN Special Representative in Afghanistan Nicholas Haysom who, on Wednesday, suggested that the talks could be recognised as the outcome of the recent concerted efforts at rebuilding relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2015.