President Ashraf Ghani on Monday held a meeting with prominent political leaders, including former mujahideen figures, to discuss the peace process. The meeting comes amid stalled talks and high levels of violence.
Chairman Abdullah Abdullah, Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh, National Assembly Speakers Mir Rahman Rahmani and Fzl Hadi Muslimyar, former president Hamid Karzai, former mujahideen leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, former mujahideen leader Mohammad Ismail Khan, former vice president Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, and senior presidential adviser Mohammad Mohaqiq were among key figures who attended the meeting, according to photos published by the Palace.
The Afghan government is facing criticism for not building a consensus for the peace process and other national issues to chart the country’s political future as international troops are leaving.
However, the Presidential Palace said the participants of the meeting emphasized the importance of consensus and pledged that the next steps of the peace process would only happen if a consensus was arrived at after mutual understanding.
The Palace said that the participants also emphasized the importance of focusing on the peace process as a priority for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The Palace said that the participants emphasized the importance of a unified stance and powerful political consensus as essential tools for strengthening peace and stability, strengthening the Republic and mobilizing support for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
They said that the people’s support for the Republic should be harnessed to boost stability.
Technical teams from both the Afghan Republic and the Taliban delegations in Doha have held two meetings this month to discuss the possibility of holding future meetings. However, the meetings have not had tangible progress as the violence continues to remain at a high level following the April announcement of the US and coalition forces' withdrawal.
The participants also called the upcoming trip by Afghan leaders to the United States "essential," the Palace said.
President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah are expected to visit Washington on Friday.