Afghanistan hosts the latest round of the Kabul Process Conference today as separate talks between the US and the Afghan Taliban on troop withdrawals and a political transition continue in parallel.
Started by President Ashraf Ghani in 2017, the Kabul Process is a non-binding and deliberative process. It promotes an inclusive and Afghan-led peace effort that incorporates government, civil society and the private sector. Last year’s conference saw President Ghani propose the political recognition of the Taliban as part of efforts to end the war.
Discussions have been overshadowed by the US-Taliban talks, which are taking place without the direct participation of the Afghan government. Such exclusion is rumoured to be linked to the Ghani government’s opposition to US plans for an early withdrawal.
The conference is expected to endorse unconditional peace once again. However, as concerns grow that Taliban involvement in a future government could undermine social progress, expect a renewed push by Afghan civil society for the country’s government to lead peace talks. A message of Afghan unity and the possibility of Taliban incorporation in a future government is likely to be used by Kabul to overshadow the US-led talks.
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Kai looks at security and political turbulence in the emerging market economies and also serves as a publisher with The Daily Brief.