Afghanistan’s peace process has faced hurdles—some familiar, some new—in recent months. There is increased hope that long-awaited negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban will begin imminently. But despite recent momentum following the Eid cease-fire at the end of July and the Loya Jirga organized by President Ghani at the beginning of August, major barriers remain ahead of talks. The levels of violence against Afghan security forces and civilians remain at unsustainable levels, and continued disputes over prisoner releases may delay the process further. 

The lead up to intra-Afghan talks has made it clear that a sustainable peace in Afghanistan will require intensive international and regional support, both during negotiations and following any political settlement. Afghanistan’s acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Haneef Atmar, has led Afghanistan’s efforts to consolidate international support for the peace process in Afghanistan—including diverse neighbors, regional powers, and supportive western nations.

On August 27, USIP hosted Minister Atmar for a virtual discussion about the Afghanistan peace process as talks with the Taliban get set to begin. The foreign minister spoke about the Afghan government’s ongoing efforts for peace and stability, as well as the role of the regional and international community in supporting peace efforts. 

Join the conversation with #AfghanPeace.


H.E Mohammed Haneef Atmar
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Andrew Wilder, moderator
Vice President, Asia Center, U.S. Institute of Peace 

Related Publications

The Current Situation in Afghanistan

The Current Situation in Afghanistan

Thursday, March 25, 2021

In February 2020 the U.S. and the Taliban signed an agreement that paved the way for the first direct talks between the Taliban and representatives of the Afghan republic since 2001. This nascent peace process has sparked hope for a political settlement to the four-decade-long conflict, although slow progress and increasing levels of violence threaten to derail the process before it gains momentum.

Type: Fact Sheet

Revitalizing Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance

Revitalizing Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

By: William Byrd

Revitalizing Afghanistan’s badly damaged Ministry of Finance is critical for the state’s survival today and will be equally important during a peace process or under any interim or power-sharing arrangement. Without curbs on political interference and corruption at the ministry, Afghanistan will be hard pressed to ensure that aid pledges made at November’s Geneva international conference materialize.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & Environment; Democracy & Governance

“No Going Backward”: Afghanistan’s Post–Peace Accord Security Sector

“No Going Backward”: Afghanistan’s Post–Peace Accord Security Sector

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

By: Annie Pforzheimer; Andrew Hyde; Jason Criss Howk

Failure to plan realistically for needed changes in Afghanistan’s security sector following a peace settlement—and failure to start phasing in changes now—will lead to post-settlement instability. This report examines the particular challenges Afghanistan will face, with examples from the climate following peace settlements in other parts of the world offering insight into what may occur and possibilities for response.

Type: Peaceworks

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

New Evidence: To Build Peace, Include Women from the Start

New Evidence: To Build Peace, Include Women from the Start

Thursday, March 11, 2021

By: Veronique Dudouet; Andreas Schädel

In the 20 years since governments declared it imperative to include women’s groups and their demands in peace processes, experience and research continue to show that this principle strengthens peace agreements and helps prevent wars from re-igniting. Yet our inclusion of women has been incomplete and, in some ways, poorly informed. Now a study of recent peace processes in Colombia, Mali, Afghanistan and Myanmar offers new guidance on how to shape women’s roles. A critical lesson is that we must ensure this inclusion from the start.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Peace Processes

View All Publications