Representatives from Russia, China, Pakistan and the US will meet today for extended Troika-format talks on Afghanistan’s peace process.
Established in 2019, the extended Troika forum is an attempt to facilitate a permanent settlement to the intra-Afghan conflict. The group’s most recent meeting led to a joint statement affirming forum members’ commitment to a negotiated settlement between the Afghan government in Kabul and the Taliban. Nonetheless, forum members’ individual priorities remain distinct. Notably, the US government has argued that Pakistan has failed to use its influence on the Taliban to push for diplomatic concessions, especially those related to human rights.
Expect the forum to issue a statement urging a ceasefire. However, Kabul’s recent territorial losses have cleared the Taliban’s path towards political power, leaving minimal incentive for continuing mediation under current conditions. Individual forum members will likely intensify bilateral talks with the Taliban on issues including stemming refugee flows. Such talks are likely to spark further contention between forum members such as the US and Pakistan regarding the Taliban’s human rights record. Given such disagreements and US disengagement from Afghanistan, the forum’s viability will likely decrease, leaving states such as Pakistan with greater individual influence on Afghan affairs.
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Mariah is the Director of Analysis. A regular contributor to the Daily Brief, Mariah analyzes geopolitical and economic events in the states of the former Soviet Union.