Welcome to the Reuters.com BETA. Read our Editor's note on how we're helping professionals make smart decisions.
Read more
Sign In
June 16, 20219:27 AM PDTLast Updated a month ago
Asia Pacific
Time running out for Afghan peace process, more efforts needed - EU envoy
Charlotte GreenfieldGibran Peshimam

3 minute read
Taliban delegates speak during talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents in Doha, Qatar September 12, 2020. REUTERS/Ibraheem al Omari/File Photo
ISLAMABAD, June 16 (Reuters) - The European Union's envoy for Afghanistan said on Wednesday time was running out for Afghan peace negotiations and more needed to be done to boost the discussions as international forces withdraw from the war-torn nation.
Afghan government and Taliban negotiators have met in Qatar's capital Doha over the past two weeks to discuss the peace process after a pause when negotiations largely stalled earlier this year.
Talks began in September but the already-slowing negotiations largely broke off in April, when the United States announced it would withdraw its forces by Sept. 11, after a May 1 deadline the Trump administration had agreed with the Taliban.
"Time is getting shorter as we speak," Tomas Niklasson, the EU's acting special envoy for Afghanistan, told Reuters during a visit to Pakistan's capital. "There has been no or very little progress on substance, so from that perspective more has to be done."
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said on Twitter that on Tuesday groups from both negotiation teams had met to discuss "recalibration of order and sequence of talks sessions."
But Niklasson said that to show true progress, substantive proposals needed to be put on the table on each side's plans for the country and the outcome of the talks, which the Taliban had not yet provided.
"It's quite possible that a proposal from the Taliban might be maximalist, maybe they would just put an Islamic Emirate on the table, which is perfectly fine for negotiations and then you can see where you can make compromises and compromises will have to be made by both sides," he said.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group did have a written plan but would not share it publicly or with foreigners and would save it for substantive negotiations.
The envoy held meetings with officials in Islamabad this week and said he was confident that Pakistan saw it in its interests to encourage a negotiated peace settlement in neighbouring Afghanistan, but reiterated Pakistan should use all leverage it to had to encourage the Taliban to deliver a written peace proposal.
Pakistan's ties to the Taliban have been criticised in the past by the West but foreign capitals including Washington have in recent years acknowledged Pakistan for working to bring the insurgents to the negotiating table.
Pakistan's foreign minister has said in recent days that Pakistan was fully supporting the Afghan peace process but did not want to be considered the "scapegoat" and blamed if negotiations fell apart.
"I see so far little progress in terms of (the Taliban) putting a proposal on the table but whether that is because insufficient leverage is there or because the leverage that is there hasn't been used ... fully I don't really know," Niklasson said.
"But I have confidence that Pakistan realises the importance and the urgency of the situation and that it is in its own interest to use the leverage it has."
Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield and Gibran Peshimam, Editing by William Maclean
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
More from Reuters
Play video on original page
Read Next
China
US dollar, stocks dip as Fed keeps taper timing close to chest
2:02 PM PDT
Aerospace & Defense
German airline Condor to acquire Airbus A330neo jets
1:40 PM PDT
China
China says Taliban expected to play 'important' Afghan peace role
1:13 PM PDT
Business
Dollar dips after Fed fails to provide taper timeline
12:58 PM PDT

Sign up for our newsletter
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific · 11:35 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE North, South Korea in talks over summit, reopening liaison office
North and South Korea are in talks to reopen a joint liaison office that Pyongyang blew up last year and to hold a summit as part of efforts to restore relations, three South Korean government sources with knowledge of the matter said.
Asia Pacific
Risking China's anger, Blinken meets representative of Dalai Lama in India
5:53 AM PDT
Asia Pacific
U.S. 'deeply troubled' by attacks on civilians as Taliban sweep across Afghanistan
9:05 AM PDT
Asia Pacific
Thailand builds COVID-19 hospital in Bangkok airport amid surge in cases
6:00 AM PDT
Asia Pacific
S.Korea reports record daily COVID-19 cases as Moderna pledges vaccines
1:05 AM PDT
Latest
Home
Media
Videos
Pictures
Graphics
Browse
World
Business
Legal
Markets
Breakingviews
Technology
Investigations
Lifestyle
About Reuters
About Reuters
Careers
Reuters News Agency
Brand Attribution Guidelines
Reuters Leadership
Reuters Fact Check
Reuters Diversity Report
Stay Informed
Download the App
Newsletters
Information you can trust
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Follow Us
Thomson Reuters Products
Westlaw
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
Onesource
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
Checkpoint
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Refinitiv Products
Eikon
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets - delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Refinitiv Data Platform
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
World-Check
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
Advertise With Us
Advertising Guidelines
Cookies
Terms of Use
Privacy
Corrections
Site Feedback

All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved