"Afghan conflict could only be resolved by direct talks between Afghan people" - Special Rep.

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UN Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto said recent events in the country show the urgency of finding a political settlement and stressed that it was “imperative” for talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban “commence as soon as possible.”
Briefing the Security Council, Yamamoto said the conflict could “only be resolved by direct talks between Afghan people” adding that these talks must be “inclusive, representing the whole spectrum of Afghan society.” He said people around the country hope for an end to the conflict, but also fear that peace might come at the sacrifice of freedom and rights.
SOUNDBITE (English) Tadamichi Yamamoto, Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, United Nations:
“Any political settlement must include a promise to continue 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.”
The Special Repetitive said the United Nations fully supports the efforts of the Independent Election Commission as the country prepares for its fourth presidential election since 2001 set for 28 September. He said technical and operational preparations for the elections are on track, but expressed concern over the security situation, voter turnout, and the possibility of fraud and irregularities.
Yamamoto highlighted Afghan citizens’ anxiety, particularly in view of the Taliban’s stated threat to disrupt the electoral process, especially by targeting civilians participating in the elections. He said, “Attacks directed against polling centres and civilians participating in the electoral process are unacceptable; they are clear violations of international law. I urge the Taliban to retract this threat, and I urge the Government to provide adequate security arrangements to safeguard the electoral process.”
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