Doha / Information Office / February 29
The agreement for bringing peace to Afghanistan was signed Saturday under the auspices of the State of Qatar, in the attendance of HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, HE U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Head of the Political Office of Afghan Taliban Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and a number of Taliban leaders.
HE the Sultanate of Oman's Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, HE Foreign Minister of the Republic of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu, HE Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rasit Meredow, HE Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov, HE Foreign Minister of Tajikistan Sirodjidin Muhriddin, HE Foreign Minister of Indonesia Retno Marsudi, HE Foreign Minister of Norway Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide, HE Secretary General of Pugwash International Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, and HE Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization Vladimir Norov attended the signing ceremony.
HE US Envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad signed the agreement on the American side, and on the Taliban side it was signed by Baradar.
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani prior to the signing, stressing the State of Qatar's position of the futility of any military solution to the Afghan crisis.
His Excellency said that the State of Qatar continued its mediation efforts to establish peace in Afghanistan, in accordance to the wise directions of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
His Excellency expressed during the speech his satisfaction with reaching a deal, which will act as a first step towards comprehensive and sustainable peace. His Excellency noted that the agreement must unite all segments of the Afghan society in order to start building the future.
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs highlighted the State of Qatar's initiative in holding the intra-Afghan conference, saying it placed the first building block of an expanded societal dialogue between all Afghan parties. His Excellency expressed said he looks forward to seeing this process yield a comprehensive and sustainable peace in the near future.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed the suffering of the Afghan people and the danger they have to go through as a result of threats of war and all its negative implications. His Excellency added that the State of Qatar appreciates the position taken by the US and Taliban during all phases of negotiations and dialogues hosted in Doha, and their commitment to transparency and facing all challenges in order to achieve peace and resolve their differences.
His Excellency praised the stopping of violence that started Saturday in Afghanistan, stressing that it will save innocent lives and support peace and development efforts.
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stressed on the State of Qatar's firm belief in mediation as a main tool in achieving peace and resolving conflicts, which helped the country resolves many of the region's crisis thanks to its credibility, transparency, and fairness.
His Excellency added that the State of Qatar's government and people were happy to have the peace agreement between the US and Taliban be signed on its land, adding that the agreement went through very long phases before ultimately being successful. His Excellency added that achieving the desired peace from this agreement, and building successful and fruitful relations between the two sides will require mutual understanding of each party's concerns and a sincere desire to achieve the interest of all parties involved, stressing that this will be the only way to reach a final resolution.
His Excellency pointed out that this meeting in Doha constitutes a message of support for the Afghan people to overcome this difficult stage, and is a tribute to the US, Taliban, and the Afghan government, and all the countries that have supported dialogue and negotiations between the two sides.
His Excellency looked forward to this agreement being an important turning point on the path of stability and prosperity for the Afghan people and achieving its goals in security, development and prosperity. His Excellency called on the international community to make more efforts to face any challenges facing the desired peace in Afghanistan, and stressed that the State of Qatar will spare no effort in cooperating with members of the international community in that regard. His Excellency called on countries witnessing conflicts to open up to initiatives that aim to establish peace through dialogue that realizes the aspirations of people for security and stability.
His Excellency concluded by expressing pride that the State of Qatar is open for dialogue between all, stressing that it managed to overcome all obstacles that was facing the peace deal.
Among the most important provisions of the terms of the agreement signed today is that the US has to withdraw its forces and that of its allies, including all non-diplomatic civil servants, private security, contractors, and support services personnel from Afghanistan, within 14 months, after this agreement between the United States and The Taliban, provided that the Taliban fulfills its obligations under the agreement.
The United States will start by reducing its forces in Afghanistan to 8,600 personnel, within 135 days of an agreement with the Taliban. The United States and its allies will withdraw all their forces from five military bases, and will completely withdraw forces from Afghanistan in nine and a half months. The United States of America will work with all parties involved in the agreement to release political prisoners and prisoners for reasons related to the conflict, for up to five thousand Taliban prisoners, with the aim of building confidence between the parties and enhancing coordination between them.