31 March 2020

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President Ghani Stresses Single Voice in Peace Talks

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Saturday, February 22, 2020
Kabul (BNA) In a meeting with the Meshrano Jirga or the upper house of Parliament leadership board on Thursday, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said the peace process carries both opportunities and risks and any decision in this regard would be consulted with the Afghan people.
A statement from the presidential press office quoted the president saying peace was related to all Afghans and all segments of society and people’s representatives would be consulted about the peace process.
“Peace is the main priority for the Afghan people and it is our responsibility to know about public opinion, suggestions and consultations for the peace process, because the victory of peace is the victory of the public, and we should have a united position and single voice,” the president said, according to the statement, adding that the presidential palace had a united position and voice regarding the peace process.
The president also added that Afghan forces led 94 percent of all military operations and their combat strength was improving with each passing day.
President Ghani said consultative meetings about the peace process would be continued, adding diversity and quality, efficiency and flexibility of the negotiating team was also important, and the chance made available for peace should be greatly used.
“Republic, basic rights of people and defense and security forces were issues that could not be discussed or dealt,” the president noted.
Clarification of relations between the Taliban and neighbors, particularly Pakistan, closure of ties between Taliban and terrorist organizations and resolving problems about their safe havens, narcotics and criminal economy should be solved for a stable and dignified peace, the president was quoted in the statement as saying.
Peace negotiations would be based on public agreement and consultations and important decisions would be incorporated in their agreement, he said, adding opportunities and risks facing the peace process would be managed based on the people’s consultations and support and in national interests.
The president added that peace offered both opportunities and risks, but they had adopted measures for controlling the situation and in this regard security and defense forces had received directives.
Meanwhile, Meshrano Jirga chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar thanked the president for his consultations about the country’s important issues with public representatives and congratulated him on winning the presidential race.
Upper House speaker also said his message to the public was to choose national interests over their personal interest and create a national consensus. He said the Meshrano Jirga strongly supported the government and peace process and was ready for any cooperation on the regard, according to the statement.
Speaking on the occasion, First vice President-elect Amrullah Saleh said that they had shared their concerns and preparations regarding the peace process with the Americans on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, adding President’s consultative meeting were going on with different segments of the society, the statement said.
According to another report, President Ghani also held separate meeting with Ulama on peace process, asking them to play their key role in peace process.
The President assured that the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has full intentions and will for peace, asking Ulama to deliver their messages to the Taliban that the Afghan Government has fulfilled its principle and religious duty towards peace.
Backing government’s approach towards peace in the country, the country’s Ulama from across the country shared their opinions on peace process, including that of the women’s role and inclusive negotiating team for talks.

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