Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani told parliamentarians on Sunday that the UAE plans to host an important conference focused on investment in Afghanistan and has pledged to help the Afghan Air Force as well as the peace process in the country.
Ghani has just returned from his latest regional tour, which included a stop in the UAE. The Emirates, Ghani said, “will use all its resources for the restoration of peace and stability to Afghanistan.”
Dawa Khan Minapal, a spokesperson for the president, told Arab News on Monday that the conference will be held within the next three months.
“Since the UAE is the hub of commerce in the region, it can play an important role in investment,” said Minapal.
The UAE’s pledge to help the Afghan Air Force will cover training, he said.
Minapal was unable to give further details of the UAE’s plans to help establish peace in the country, or of whether the Taliban, who have led an insurgency since being ousted from government in 2001, will be invited to take part in any renewed push to revive the stalled peace process. The UAE has facilitated a series of meetings between the emissaries of the Taliban and Afghan government in the past.
Waheed Mozhdah, a political analyst, said talks between Taliban delegates and Afghan politicians with no links to Kabul were supposed to have taken place last month in the UAE, but the Taliban refused to participate and did not give any reason why.
Kabul — facing an increasing number of attacks by both the Taliban and militants affiliated with Daesh — has recently shown more interest in holding talks with the Taliban as former President Hamid Karzai’s relationship with Russia and Iran shows signs of blossoming.
Mozhdah said Kabul is concerned by the close ties between Karzai, Moscow, Tehran and the Taliban, all of whom are calling for the expulsion of US-led coalition troops from Afghanistan, fearing it will help boost Karzai’s chances versus Ghani in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.