In a statement following a Friday meeting with Qatar Fund For Development and the Qatar Investment Authority that also involved Taliban representatives, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said that the Taliban "recognize all Afghans will have to make compromises in order to draw in the required investment in Afghanistan's future".
1/3 @AdamUSDFC & I have concluded mtgs in Doha. With QIA & @qatar_fund, we discussed the possibility of co-investing in Afghan projects to consolidate peace & unlock regional prosperity. The potential to amplify investment impact in #Afghanistan with like-minded partners is real.— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) July 3, 2020
He noted that the sides agreed that "developing plans in support of peace can never start too early" and expressed hopes that "final hurdles on the path to intra-Afghan negotiations" can be overcome.
"In follow on mtg w/ the Taliban, we underscored the econ development oppts that will follow a sustainable peace. We agreed developing plans in support of peace can never start too early, assuming the 2 sides can overcome final hurdles on the path to intra-Afghan negotiations", the envoy said.
3/3 Mullah Baradar and his team were engaged and the Taliban recognize all Afghans will have to make compromises in order to draw in the required investment in Afghanistan's future.— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) July 3, 2020
The envoy, accompanied by the CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation, Adam Boehler, took part in several meetings in Qatar's capital. One of those, involving the Qatar Fund For Development and the Qatar Investment Authority, was dedicated, in particular, to the discussion of the possibility for joint investment in Afghanistan.
Earlier, Khalilzad and Boehler held a video conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Abdullah Abdullah, in which the participants agreed on the "need to prioritize Afghanistan’s economic growth", which will require commitment to peace from both Kabul and the Taliban.
"We share a common view that economic benefits of peace far outweigh benefits of war. A sustainable peace can mean investment w/ less risk, lower cost & faster capital deployment", the US envoy tweeted following the conference.
In February, a peace deal was signed between the US and the Taliban envisaging a conditional withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan, with intra-Afghan talks between Kabul and the Taliban to follow. Bomb blasts and clashes in the country still occur, however, contributing to ongoing instability in the war-torn nation.
The peace process between the two sides was stalled due to disagreements over the mutual release of prisoners by both Kabul and the Taliban, as the United Nations urged both parties to commit to a long-lasting peace agreement to protect civilians and assure economic growth.