28 nations including Pakistan, India to attend Afghanistan peace meeting

28 nations including Pakistan, India to attend Afghanistan peace meeting

KABUL: Officials from at least 28 countries and organizations are expected to attend the Kabul Process meeting scheduled for Tuesday in the capital Kabul.

Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Monday that the Kabul Process meeting is scheduled for Tuesday and will look at ways to promote peace and end the war.

Representatives from at least 28 countries and organizations including the United States, Russia, China, Pakistan and India along with the United Nations and European Union are expected to attend the meeting.

“The Kabul conference, with serious support of regional and international partners, aims to make the Afghan government the key driving force for reaching peace,” MoFA spokesman, Shekib Mustaghni said.

The European Union’s special representative for Afghanistan, Franz-Michael Mellbin, on Monday said the meeting has serious political support.

“I hope that Afghanistan can ... convince the region that there is an Afghan plan for peace, that there is a strategy," said Mellbin. 

However, the meeting comes close on the heels of deadly attacks in Kabul, including Wednesday’s bombing that claimed the lives of over 100 people and wounded hundreds more.

The Afghan government meanwhile said a series of meetings will be held in the future. 

“Kabul Process aims to create a regional and cross-regional consensus for the peace process,” Shahhussain Murtazawi, acting director of the president’s spokesman’s office said.

Delegates attending the meeting hope to find a way to bring about peace with the help of regional and international countries. In addition High Peace Council (HPC) members said they are hopeful that it will open the door for peace for the Afghan people. 

“This shows that the international community pays special attention to peace and stability in Afghanistan,” HPC adviser for international affairs, Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar said.

Meetings have been held in the past regarding peace in Afghanistan but this is the first time one will be held in Afghanistan.

It is hoped that the meeting will pave the way for direct negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban. 

The Kabul Process also aims to secure support for an agreement to end backing of cross-border terrorism.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi has confirmed the deputy for Asia and Pacific affairs, Ebrahim Rahimpour will attend the meeting as Iran’s representative.

This comes after the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif visited Kabul to discuss the issue of fighting insurgency in the country. - Tolo News