President Ashraf Ghani calls for lasting national peace in war-torn Afghanistan

Clay Curtis
August 12, 2019

The deal also could include a ceasefire and stipulate that the Taliban would negotiate with Afghan representatives, though the insurgent group has so far refused to negotiate with Kabul representatives, dismissing the Afghan government as a United States puppet.

The US and Taliban representatives have been negotiating since October 12, 2018 in Doha, capital of Qatar to strike a peace deal and end the 18 years' war in the country.

"We want peace and we want participation in the peace process".

The two sides have been discussing an agreement under which USA forces would withdraw from Afghanistan and the Taliban would guarantee the country would not revert to being a launch pad for global terrorist attacks.

"After so many years of conflict here in Afghanistan, we now see the prospect to make real progress toward to a settlement that will bring peace", US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass said in an Eid message to Afghans.

"Our future can not be decided outside, whether in the capital cities of our friends or neighbours. Our future fate will not be decided in foreign countries. the future and fate of this country will be decided here in Afghanistan", he added.

Taliban member Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwah recently said that the U.S. and Taliban negotiators were likely to sign a peace agreement after the Eid celebrations, which will conclude on August 13, according to Afghan media outlet Tolo News.

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The President of Afghanistan has ruled out postponing the country's upcoming elections because of ongoing peace talks between the United States and the Taliban.

The U.S. has pressed for a cease-fire and a framework for inter-Afghan talks, but so far the insurgents have refused to recognize the Afghan government, dismissing it as a U.S. puppet. They warned fellow Afghans to stay away from campaign rallies and the polls, saying such gatherings could be targeted.

The Taliban control about half of Afghanistan and are now at their strongest since the US-led invasion toppled their five-year-old government in 2001.

More than 2,400 USA service members have died in Afghanistan since then. We don't want a peace in which Afghans wouldn't have dignity.

Ghani, stung by being excluded from the peace talks, on Sunday pleaded for national unity. We don't want a peace that would cause people to leave their country.

Both sides hope to finalize a peace deal in the eighth round of the talks.

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