President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday welcomed the Helmand peace convoy in Kabul who have arrived in the capital Kabul after crossing some 700kilometters on foot, calling an end to the nearly 17-year-old war in the country.
In the meeting with the president which was held outside the Presidential Palace, the peace activists run through a list of demands including the extension of ceasefire between the government and the Taliban, a venue for peace talks and a “joint system” that could preserve the interests of all citizens.
Head of the convoy Iqbal Khyber said that once peace and stability have been maintained in the country, foreign troops must withdraw from Afghanistan and that thereafter, the international community should support the country.
The activists also said that they will continue their move until their demands were addressed.
Welcoming the convoy to Kabul, Ghani said that he is ready to extend the ceasefire with the Taliban by one year if the group responds positively to the extended 10-day truce announced by him on Sunday.
The president also said that he is ready to talk with the Taliban leader Mullah Hebatullah at any given venue.
Calling for Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace talks, Ghani said: “When we have our own home [Afghanistan] then why we should hold talks in a foreign country.”
On the matter of withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, Ghani stressed that he has not separated this issue in the peace process with the Taliban and that he is ready to discuss the withdrawal of foreign forces in a long-term plan with the Taliban.