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April 4, 2019

Stakeholders can resolve Afghan conflict on basis of give and take: Khalilzad

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April 4, 2019

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and a number of prominent Afghan politicians on Wednesday met with the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad to exchange views on the peace process, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.

According to the statement, the US Ambassador to Kabul John R. Bass and the US and Nato forces commander in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller were also at the meeting.

From the Afghan politicians, Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, former president Hamid Karzai, former Jihadi leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, head of Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Acting Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, High Peace Council Chairman Mohammad Karim Khalili, Second Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq, parliament speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi and President Ghani’s Special Representative on Regional Affairs for Consensus on Peace Mohammad Umer Daudzai were at the meeting and shared their views on the Afghan peace with Khalilzad.

Khalilzad reportedly said the stakeholders can resolve the Afghan conflict on the basis of give and take. In this meeting, the participants discussed the peace efforts and importantly the next steps for ending the Afghan war, Afghan media reported.

“Today, President Ashraf Ghani had a meeting with Khalilzad. In this meeting, a number of politicians and jihadi leaders were also present and each of them had their opinions and recommendations for peace. Also, the next steps for peace were discussed and the meetings will continue for the next days,” President Ashraf Ghani’s deputy spokesman Shahussain Murtazawi said.

“Earlier I left a meeting which was a good get together between the Afghan leaders led by President Ghani, the President of Afghanistan with the participation of important leaders of this country in the government and outside government and Ambassador Khalilzad and Ambassador John Bass,” said Abdullah.

Khalilzad on Tuesday visited Kandahar province and met with local officials and tribal elders on Afghan peace. “The issue we insisted on is that messages should be clearly communicated to the people from the peace process and people should not be kept away of the process,” Kandahar governor Hayatullah Hayat said.

Meanwhile, media reports said President Ghani wants the Qatar meeting to be held after the consultative Jirga which will be held in Kabul on April 29. President Ghani's Special Envoy Umer Daudzai on Tuesday said government will invite the Taliban to attend the peace Jirga.

In the meeting, former president Hamid Karzai insisted that the US peace efforts should be supported, Karzai's office said in a statement. Karzai also emphasised that the remarks that come out of media and "provoke war" should be stopped completely and efforts for the formation of an inclusive negotiating team for Doha meeting should be accelerated, the statement reads.

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