Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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Afghan peace process requires a neutral mediator

AAN < 1 min

Financial Times, 19 July 2018

Ahmed Rashid makes an important point in this opinion piece, advocating for a neutral mediator or supervisor for US-Taleban talks – arguing that

Starting negotiations is a good thing, but the current opportunity could be squandered if the US goes about the process in the wrong way. (…)

So far, the American officials I have spoken to insist there is no need for a neutral mediator or state to help facilitate the talks. Instead they think the Afghans will talk to each other, with the US serving as the chief mediator and other involved parties parties and nations joining in as needed. 

This strategy is unlikely to be acceptable either to the Kabul government or to the Taliban, and it is likely to lead to chaos.