Men on guard
© Reuters/Omar Sobhani
Armed men against the Taliban stand at their checkpost
Ghorband District, Parwan Province • June 29, 2021
The United States, the European Union, individual European states and NATO are urging the Taliban to stop its military offensive in Afghanistan and engage in peace talks, the US-Europe Communiqué on Afghanistan and Peace Efforts said on Friday.

"We call on the Taliban to end their military offensive, and on both the Islamic Republic and the Taliban to engage meaningfully in the peace process," said the joint communiqué, issued by the United States, European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom and NATO.

Moreover, the US, European Union, NATO and several European states said in a joint statement that they welcome the group's commitments and openness to negotiating with Kabul as a mechanism for a representative government in Afghanistan.
"We welcome in particular the commitments made by the Taliban yesterday to inclusive governance, respecting human rights, including the rights of women and minorities, to abide by international law, including international humanitarian law, and to upholding counter-terrorism commitments."
The US and its European partners also welcome the Taliban's openness to negotiate a mechanism for a representative government with the Afghan government's negotiation team, the communique said.

The communique signatories also acknowledged in a joint statement that achieving a final settlement in Afghanistan will take time, but called on the Taliban and the Afghan government to engage in meaningful negotiations:
"We acknowledge that reaching a final political settlement, including on the Constitution, will likely take time. We urge the two sides to agree on a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire and on foundational principles for the future Afghan State and details of transitional governing arrangements until a final political settlement is reached."
As the international coalition's soldiers and US troops, in particular, leave Afghanistan, the country is experiencing an uptick in violence. Since then, the Taliban has launched an offensive and taken control of significant portions of the country's land.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban representative, claimed to Sputnik on Thursday that the movement now controls almost 90% of Afghanistan's border. However, Fawad Aman, a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, has dismissed the Taliban's assertion that they control 90% of Afghanistan's borders as an "absolute lie" and "baseless propaganda".