UN envoy calls for direct talks between Afghan government, Taliban

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UNITED NATIONS, Sep 11 (APP):With the collapse of talks between the US and Afghan Taliban this week, the chief of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has called for direct intra-Afghan negotiations to resolve the country’s long-running conflict.

“The conflict can only be resolved by direct talks between the Afghan people,” Special Representative Tadamichi Yamamoto told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

“It is imperative, therefore, that direct talks between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban commence as soon as possible.”

“The events of recent days and weeks have shown, more than ever, the urgency of finding a political settlement to the long Afghan conflict”, he added.

Yamamoto spelled out that any political settlement must include a promise to “protect and advance human rights and fundamental freedoms for all who live in Afghanistan, including those of women, youth, and minorities as well as the freedom of expression and the media”.