Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Norway Taliban-Afghan government move interesting, says analyst

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The Foreigner (Norway), 26 March 2015

AAN country director Kate Clark comments on the invitation by Norwegian authorities of three Taleban members together with representatives of the Afghan government for a peace seminar at Oslo for a peace negotiations course, looking also at ceasefire agreements:

“I think reports of the Taliban having attended the seminar are credible,” Kate Clark, Country Director at the Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) tells The Foreigner.

“The fact that Afghanistan government representatives met with the Taliban is nothing new, though Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has been trying to get bilateral talks near the top of his agenda since becoming President.”

“Having face-to-face interaction in a neutral venue with interesting content on the agenda is generally useful. Moreover, 2014 was the most violent year on record since 2001. There is an urgency to finding ways to end the war.”

“The invite to both sides to the training course move is a small step in a possibly larger dance, but it is an interesting step, nonetheless,” says Kate Clark.

“Now is a good chance for the Taliban to argue that there is a new government, and the foreigners are out. They could feasibly use that to sell peace rather than war to their followers.”

“Europe and the US would also welcome negotiations. At the same time, however, the dynamics of conflict suggest it is most likely we will see continued insurgency,” Ms Clark concludes.