Geneva Pledging Conference on Afghanistan due on November 23-24, 2020
KABUL – Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with Ambassador Janne Taalas, Finland's Special Representative for the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, and his accompanying delegation today.
The Acting Foreign Minister commended the Government of Finland for organizing the Geneva Conference and supporting the Afghan Peace Process. Mr. Atmar discussed the recent State visit by H.E. President Ashraf Ghani and senior Afghan government officials to Doha, Qatar, adding that the purpose of the visit was to strengthen the Afghan peace process and boost bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Qatar. On consolidating the peace process, according to Acting Foreign Minister, the Afghan Government pursued three main objectives of (1) overcoming hurdles to Rules of Procedures to kickstart negotiations on actual peace agenda including a ceasefire, (2) establishing a mechanism to reduce and track violence, and (3) laying the groundwork for a comprehensive agreement that could lead to lasting and inclusive peace in Afghanistan.
While expressing his Government's support for the peace process and the achievements of the last 19 years in Afghanistan, Finland's Special Envoy declared his readiness to organize the Geneva Conference from 23 – 24 November 2020. Ambassador Taalas added that he had contacted all donor countries, and they were ready to attend the conference following deliberations on the financial assistance of different countries. The conference organizers, he said, had been working on a financial assistance program for the next four years while heeding the financial laws and budgetary issues of different countries. The donor countries will announce the timing of their financial commitments at the Geneva Conference.
In closing, both sides exchanged views on the participation of Afghan delegations, countries, and donor organizations at the Geneva Conference, the impact of the peace talks on the event, and related technical preparations, considering the COVID-19 challenges.