President Ashraf Ghani with met U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Sunday night and discussed the issues around the peace process, the Presidential Palace said in a statement on Monday.
In the meeting which was held in the Presidential Palace, the members of Consultative Board on peace, some members of negotiating team, politicians and representatives of political parties, a number of scholars, members of civil society, youth, women, representatives of the private sector, MPs, and other high-ranking government officials also present.
Welcoming the officials to the meeting, Ghani said that in recent days, a number of key issues have been clarified about the peace process and that more joint action is needed in order to achieve a lasting and respectful peace in the country.
Referring to the U.S. President Trump’s annual State of Union speech at Congress and his meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the sidelines of Munich Security Conference, Ghani said that the state-to-state relationship with the United States has been strengthened and sustained based on mutual interests compared to the past and that will continue to work towards the common goal of peace.
The president also said that they have agreed on a new framework with Khalilzad which based on that the information will be shared and that continued consultation will take place on a certain agenda. He added that actions will be taken based on this framework.
Ghani, meanwhile, said that the current consensus on peace should be strengthened and that in a consensus should be also built in some cases that lack.
He also on Pakistan and the Taliban to clarify their relations.
“We want the Taliban to clarify their relationship with Pakistan and [we want] Pakistan to [clarify] its relationship with the Taliban that what this is based on; and the Taliban’s connection with terrorist networks and their relation with economic crimes should also be cleared,” Ghani said.
Meanwhile, Khalilzad said that with this new plan, a clear framework has emerged and through this, they are pursuing the peace process.
He said the US’s goal, along with Afghanistan, is to increase the efforts of diplomatic channels to establish lasting peace in Afghanistan – in order to maintain the interests of both countries and to reduce the cost of war.
On his turn, Khalilzad said the U.S. is serious about the Afghan government and the people of Afghanistan being part of the peace process, adding that they want lasting peace in which all values being preserved and be an ending point to the 40-year crisis.