Doha: Even as reports pour in about intense military offensives by the Taliban resulting in capture of provincial capitals, the participants who gathered to discuss the deteriorating security situation at the invitation of Qatar, have called on the Afghan warring parties to expedite the peace process towards a political settlement.
The joint statement issues at the end of the session on Thursday called on the warring parties to reach a comprehensive ceasefire as quickly as possible, and stressed that any government imposed by force is to be rejected.
The meeting called by Qatar, was attended by special envoys and representatives from China, Russia, Pakistan, the US and the UN, and other regional countries and international organisations. They started the sessions on Tuesday and held talks to explore solutions to the security situation in Afghanistan.
The statement also made it clear that the participants have agreed on the need to accelerate the peace process as a very urgent and key issue for negotiating concrete proposals between the Afghan government and the Taliban, reports Xinhua news agency.
The parties said that they would not recognise any Afghan regime imposed by force and expressed concern about the current violence. The ongoing violence has resulted in civilian casualties and triggered charges of human rights violations and destruction of infrastructure.
They pledged to provide assistance to reconstruction process once a viable political settlement is reached between the two sides.
The statement emphasised the guidelines of the political settlement, including all-out governance, respect for human rights including the rights of women and minorities, mechanism for forming a representative government, the commitment not to make Afghan territory a threat to other countries, and respect for the international law, including international humanitarian one.
Through exchanging views with the representatives of the Afghan government and Taliban, the participants have been discussing contributions that the international community can make to helping the peace process.
Since the withdrawal of the US-led forces on May 1, the Taliban has continued to gain ground in Afghanistan. On Friday, the Taliban took control over the key southern Afghan cities of Lashkar Gah and Kandahar, after weeks of heavy clashes.
The insurgent group captured Ghazni city, the capital of eastern Ghazni province on Thursday, bringing the number of provincial capitals captured so far to more than 10 in less than a week.
(Based on IANS feed)