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Taliban talks: Past, present and prospects for the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan

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Military pullout calls for debate on ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan

The Danish government’s decision to pull-out its troops from the volatile Helmand province already this year, together with the ongoing US preparations to end the war in Afghanistan in 2014, calls for a careful evaluation of different exit-scenarios and the prospects for national reconciliation in Afghanistan.

A new DIIS report, edited by Mona Kanwal Sheikh and Maja T. J. Greenwood, takes stock of the burgeoning efforts to achieve some level of reconciliation with the Taliban after more than 11 years of war. It deals with the recent history of initiatives to engage with the Taliban, outlines the challenges to these initiatives and derives some recommendations for how to move forward with the peace processes. The first part written by Mona Kanwal Sheikh gives a brief background to, and status overview of the different initiatives that the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan have taken in order to initiate a peace process with the Taliban. Quoting extracts from recent interviews with experts from Afghanistan and Pakistan who have followed the different initiatives on peace and reconciliation closely, the second part identifies the challenges to the present situation and initiatives. The final part, written by Afghanistan analyst Tim Foxley, puts forward some useful recommendations on how to create a communication environment that can serve as a foundation for a viable peace process.

Afghanistan conference 11 april

Please note that DIIS is also hosting a conference on state building in Afghanistan in collaboration with the Danish Foreign Ministry. The conference will be convened on the 11th of April, and pulls together high-level Afghan and Danish Ministers, leading civil society representatives and outstanding experts in a discussion of the prospects and challenges of Afghanistan after 2014. For more information and registration see box.