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Speech by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the Opening of the Intra-Afghan Peace Talks in Doha

12.09.2020 - Speech

Today, the whole world – but especially the entire Afghan people – are watching this conference room. And most of all, they are hoping for peace. Whether their hopes will be fulfilled, depends on you.

Ladies and gentlemen,

There is no doubt that the negotiations ahead will be difficult. Expectations are high:

Afghans wish for an end to violence and a lasting ceasefire. They want to live in dignity and peace. And they want see rule of law and human rights respected – not in theory, but in practice.

Continued international support depends on the adherence to these fundamental rights and Afghanistan’s constitutional order. Afghanistan and Germany can look back at over one hundred years of friendship. Today, we stand ready to assist you to make these negotiations succeed.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to today’s start of negotiations: Our colleagues from the United States and from Pakistan – as well as our colleagues in the group of five – Norway, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and especially our host, Qatar.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Only the Afghan people can decide their future. You, as their representatives, have a unique chance to serve your country. You can lay the basis for an Afghanistan in which all communities live together in dignity and peace, in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are protected, in particular of women and minorities, and in which no threats to other countries are emanating from Afghan soil.  It is this Afghanistan that the Afghan people are hoping to create.

Let us commit today to make these hopes come true.

Thank you!

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