On 7th April 2019, Chairman of the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS) Hekmat K. Karzai met with Ambassadors from European Union countries in Afghanistan. Hosted by the Embassy of The United Kingdom in Kabul, all EU ambassadors attended the talk. During his speech, Mr Karzai discussed a host of issues including US talks with the Taliban, Moscow conference in February 2019, Intra-Afghan dialogue and upcoming meetings in Doha, an assessment of security situation and where Afghanistan would be headed for peace and security in 2019.

Mr Karzai said that since Amb Zalmay Khalilzad is appointed as special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, tremendous progress is made in negotiations with the Taliban as he worked on two tracks – Doha and Pakistan. Mr Karzai said that now that senior Taliban members are in Doha, it helps the Taliban to expedite the process.

Discussing the Moscow meeting, Mr Karzai said that it was a good start for the Taliban and Afghan political elites to sit together. He did not rule out defects in the meeting but said efforts are made to address them for the future meeting in Doha, Qatar. Scheduled for 14-15 April in Doha, Mr Karzai said that the participants list has not been finalized yet. He expressed optimism about the meeting arguing that it would start a process that can contribute to confidence building and bridge the gap between Afghan government and the Taliban.

Providing an assessment of the latest security developments, Mr Karzai said that Afghans expect tangible results from the negotiations and that is when they see the level of violence decreased if not stopped completely.However, Mr Karzai said that it is unfortunate to see that both the Taliban and the Afghan government have intensified their operations in the battlefield and preparing for a deadly spring offensive at the cost of Afghans lives.