Afghanistan, Taliban urged to seize peace opportunity

(VOVWORLD) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday welcomed the start of negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, saying he hopes that progress toward peace can lead to the return of millions of Afghans displaced internally and across borders, to their homes in a safe, dignified and orderly manner.

An inclusive peace process, in which women, youth and victims of conflict are meaningfully represented, offers the best hope of a sustainable solution, said Guterres.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the peace process presents an ideal chance for lasting peace after decades of conflict in Afghanistan, adding that NATO remains committed to training and funding the Afghan Security Forces to help safeguard the Afghan people. He said the success of the ongoing process can enable every Afghan man and woman to lead a dignified life and ensure that Afghanistan is never again a haven for international terrorists.

Top EU diplomat Josep Borell urged the parties to accompany the start of the peace talks with an immediate, comprehensive, national and unconditional ceasefire, adding the talks must preserve and build on the political, economic and social achievements of Afghan citizens since 2001, especially on women’s rights.

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