President Ghani says regional and neighboring countries’ support will help Afghanistan to achieve its goals for peace.
President Ashraf Ghani on Monday afternoon spoke at the opening of an international meeting on “strengthening regional consensus for peace,” stressing the need for the support of neighboring and regional countries to participate in the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
Representatives of 19 countries and international organizations attended the virtual meeting that was held at the Presidential Palace.
“We all are faced with the threat of terrorism, regional crime networks and extremism,” Ghani said. “The logic thought is that we stay together and Afghanistan as a roundabout of regional cooperation can play a good role in regional stability and prosperity.”
He said that international consensus to end the war is there, adding that “the support of regional and neighboring countries for regional consensus will help Afghanistan to achieve its goals on peace.”
On peace, Ghani said that “the peace process will face serious challenges if the Taliban continue the war.”
“Unfortunately, violence level is high compared to the last year. Recent reports by the UN showed that the Taliban is yet to implement their commitments– and maintain their ties with terrorist networks,” Ghani said.
Ghani said that the Afghan government has made big steps with the prisoner release, and the Taliban should quit violence and release the Afghan prisoners.
Kabul-Hosted Intl Conference on Peace Process Begins
Representatives of 19 countries and international organizations will take part in the meeting, officials said.
Kabul is hosting a meeting of 19 representatives from nations as well as international organizations today in a virtual event organized by the Presidential Palace to discuss peace and to build consensus on the reconciliation process in the country.
Representatives from the United States, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries in the region are expected to attend the meeting.
The meeting will be hosted by acting Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar. President Ghani announced the meeting last week.
Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi on Sunday said the government is committed to starting the intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible to ensure peace, stability and an end to the war in the country.
But the peace process still faces significant obstacles.
On Sunday, the Afghan government revealed that one of the main reasons behind the delay in the intra-Afghan negotiations was its refusal to release 597 prisoners out of the 5,000 inmates that were to be freed as part of the US-Taliban agreement signed in late February.
These individuals are accused of serious “moral crimes,” and are on a list that was given to the government by the Taliban, said Ahmad Rashid Totakhil, who heads up the prisoner release process.
According to the Afghan government, so far 4,015 Taliban prisoners have been released and the process will continue this week.