The leadership committee of the High Council of National Reconciliation has been finalized following consultations with the government and the country’s political leaders and will convene its first meeting in the next few days, a spokesman for the council said on Sunday.
Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani met with former president Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, and Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayaf, former mujahideen leader, and they discussed the peace process and the formation of the reconciliation council.
“The finalization of the list of the High Council of National Reconciliation moves at full pace, the council will soon conduct its meeting,” said Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for Afghan President Ghani.
“There are 45 to 46 people as members of the leadership council of the High Council of National Reconciliation,” said Mujiburrahmna Rahimi, a spokesman for the HCNR.
This comes as the European Union delegation in Kabul in a statement on Thursday called for the “swift establishment and operationalization of the High Council of National Reconciliation,” a body designated to provide guidance to the peace negotiations.
A senior member of Jamiat-e-Islami party of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ismail Khan, on Thursday said opposition coming from within the government is stopping the establishment of the High Council for National Reconciliation, and that to date the council has not held any official meetings with its members.
The Reconciliation Council, led by Abdullah Abdullah, faces criticism for the delay in filling its member posts, something which will impact the decisions made by negotiators in Doha.
In August, President Ashraf Ghani in a decree announced the appointment of members of the leadership of the High Council for National Reconciliation. Former president Hamid Karzai and other prominent politicians were on Ghani's list but declared their opposition to being appointed. Abdullah’s office at the time said that the appointment of the council’s members was the duty of the council itself.