Serbian parliament speaker Ivica Dacic on Aug. 17 said that peace talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban had been held in Belgrade several years ago, when he was the foreign minister and with the approval of President Aleksandar Vucic. Dacic added that he was revealing this information to the public only now as it had been agreed to keep it a secret.
“They came over on three occasions, I would be their host, while the incumbent Afghan president would attend via a video link. Here were representatives of the Afghan Peace Council and some representatives of the Taliban, that is, their factions. They talked three times in Belgrade, but later on, the great powers took over after seeing what we had been doing. They said: ‘We will do it in Doha, in Qatar.’ The result is obvious,” Dacic told TV Pink.
Dacic added that Serbia had not interfered into the talks, noting that “the atmosphere was fair and it was a common opinion that progress had been made at that time, a truce was declared.”
Dacic further said that by hosting those peace talks Serbia had created a good position for itself with Afghanistan in terms that both sides were thankful to Serbia. “Until today, I have not spoken about this as we had agreed to keep it a secret, that is, not to speak publicly about it to prevent the talks from being spoiled,” Dacic noted.
Speaking about the recent events in Afghanistan, Dacic said that Serbia “has no reason to believe that the previous regime was better to Serbia than some new one will be.” Dacic stressed that under Washington’s pressure, “the puppet regime” in Kabul was among the first to recognize Kosovo’s independence as it was obliged to do so, adding that the question was whether some other regime in Afghanistan would have done the same.