The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Nicholas Haysom, welcomed the direct talks held yesterday between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives in Islamabad, Pakistan, and urged the parties to take the next steps towards a reconciliation and peace process.
Recalling his briefing last month to the Security Council in which he specifically urged direct talks between the parties, Mr. Haysom reiterated that Afghans want an end to the pervasive violence that affects every aspect of their lives.
“In the long term, peace is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” said Mr. Haysom. “I welcome the direct face-to-face engagement by the parties as the only way to achieving progress towards a negotiated agreement and ultimately the peace that Afghanistan deserves.” He also said it was important to acknowledge that the talks were only the first steps in what could be a long and challenging process.
Mr. Haysom, who is also the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, expressed his appreciation to the parties for taking this important first step, as well as to the Government of Pakistan for hosting the meeting.
These talks should be recognized as the outcome of the recent concerted efforts at rebuilding relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.