Promoting a political process in Afghanistan

There is increasing international recognition that the Afghanistan conflict can only be resolved through political negotiations, and not by military means. Norway has promoted dialogue and peace in the country for many years.

Sustainable peace will not be possible without reconciliation between the various Afghan groups. The Afghan Government has expressed its willingness to involve the rebel groups in an Afghan-owned, inclusive peace process with the aim of reaching a lasting political solution. During negotiations with the US, the Taliban signalled its willingness to participate in an intra-Afghan peace process conditioned on an agreement of the withdrawal of US/international forces from Afghanistan.

President Trump called off negotiations with the Taliban in September 2019, when an agreement had nearly been finalised. Norway supports the peace efforts and will continue to promote dialogue between the parties. Norway urges the US and the Taliban to resume negotiations that can lead to a peace process.

Support from neighbouring countries will be vital for achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan. With a view to strengthening regional relations and furthering common interests, Norway has, for several years, promoted political dialogue and confidence-building between the countries in the region, for example through its participation in the International Contact Group for Afghanistan and in the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process.

In 2014, the Government appointed a commission to evaluate and draw lessons from Norway’s civilian and military engagement in Afghanistan for the period 2001-2014. The commission submitted its report to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence on 6 June 2016.