Over the weekend news emerged that the United States and the Taliban had signed a deal that could help enable an end to decades of conflict in Afghanistan.
Attention will now turn to intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations, in which the Afghan government, opposition figures, the Taliban and other representatives of Afghan society are seeking to lay the groundwork for an end to the country’s long-running war. It is a moment of cautious optimism, but more work lies ahead.
“A peace deal builds on negotiated compromise,” said Professor Hans Joachim Giessmann, the Berghof Foundation’s Director Emeritus and senior advisor on Afghanistan. “But trust depends on the clarity of written provisions, requires acceptance by the respective constituencies, and – not least – will emerge if words on paper are turned into reality.”
In close cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office, the Berghof Foundation has been supporting the Afghan peace process for the past five years, working with Afghan partners to promote a sustainable resolution to the conflict. In July 2019, the Berghof Foundation moderated a series of closed-door sessions at the Intra-Afghan Conference for Peace, in what amounted to the first genuine dialogue among a representative group of Afghan stakeholders.