As violence continues across the country, President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday called on the Taliban to end the violence and instead come forward to start the intra-Afghan talks.
Speaking to the Afghan senators at the Presidential Palace early on Saturday, Ashraf Ghani stressed the need for a swift start to the intra-Afghan peace process.
“Referring to the increased violence by the Taliban, the President stressed the need for an end to the violence to help kick start intra-Afghan talks as soon as possible,” the President Palace said in a statement, quoting Ghani.
This comes hours after an explosion in Kabul struck a vehicle claiming the lives of two employees of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident yet.
This comes a day after Afghan security sources told TOLOnews that fighting between the Taliban and security forces is ongoing in at least 15 out of 34 provinces. Recent battles between the sides have claimed the lives of 15 soldiers in the past 24 ours.
In the meantime, Deborah Lyons, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, on Thursday said that she was cautiously optimistic about the potential talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
“I am cautiously optimistic that the talks between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban negotiation teams will indeed start in the next few weeks in Doha, during the month of July. As the two sides embark on what will likely be a long and complex series of talks, I have encouraged them to show the necessary flexibility and foresight, the commitment to peace and most importantly compassion for their people that will be needed to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion," e UN envoy told the Security Council on Thurs.