Afghanistan`s stability is intrinsically linked to regional stability and security. Destabilizing trends in neighbouring countries and their possible flooding to Afghanistan would likely jeopardize progress in the peace process. The number of Afghan civilians killed and injured in the conflict has not slowed since the start of intra-Afghan peace talks, although the total number of civilian casualties has decreased by about 30% in the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to a new report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released today… The mission`s latest quarterly report reported 5,939 civilian casualties from January 1 to September 30, 2020 (2,117 dead and 3,822 injured). The high level of violence remains violent and has devastating effects on the civilian population, with Afghanistan remaining one of the deadliest places in the world to be civilians. Watkins, of the International Crisis Group, says the fact that the Afghan government and the Taliban have finally agreed to start substantive talks could lead the new Biden administration to take the peace process negotiated by the Trump administration more seriously. At least, he said, the negotiations will not be “summarily lowered,” as they would have been if there had been no progress. The agreement between the United States and the Taliban and the joint statement of the Afghan government of the United States do not contain any provision that leaves civil society organizations a space to participate meaningfully in discussions about the future of the country. This could have an impact on the involvement of intra-Afghanistan negotiations and on the ability of the negotiations to address the concerns of the wider population. “The agreement reflects a common determination by the parties to reach a negotiated solution. This is an important development that contributes to the success of the internal negotiations that we all hope for,” he said.
As part of the power-sharing agreement between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah in May 2020, Abdullah was appointed president of the High Council for National Reconciliation, a group that will have the final say on whether to sign a negotiated agreement with the Taliban. In June 2020, the Taliban and the Government of Afghanistan confirmed that they would meet in Doha for the first round of talks; However, the Afghan government was cautious in organizing the next meeting and stressed that no agreement or consensus had been reached on a direct negotiating ground.