KABUL (SW) – Nicholas Kay, the NATO Senior Civilian Representative for Afghanistan, has said the country has its ‘best chance’ for peace since 2001.
He was speaking to a group of journalists on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in London marking 70th anniversary of the Alliance. Responding to journalists’ queries, Ambassador Kay said it is only the Taliban among the warning parties in Afghanistan that insist on continuation of violence with the rest calling for ceasefire.
“There is a strong regional consensus and support for the peace process in Afghanistan from regional countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Russia and China”, he said. He expressed optimism that in year 2020 there is a 'best chance' for progress for peace. “But, we have to be realistic, peace after 20 years of war would need time, more violence and disappointments might be on the road to peace”, he warned.
He said there is a clear indication from the Taliban that they understand they cannot win on the battlefield and need to negotiate.
Ambassador Kay said the intra-Afghan dialogue would also be difficult and lengthy as not many Afghans are likely to approve of the Taliban’s aspirations for the ‘Emirate’.
On the presidential polls, he said it is important that the Independent Election Commission comes up with the preliminary results, after the due process, and the candidates accept and respect it.