Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

President Ghani Returns Home from Geneva

President Ghani Returns Home from Geneva

KABUL - Foreign ministers from 62 countries and representatives of 35 international organizations attended the two-day (Nov 27-28) summit in the Swiss city on Afghanistan.
The conference participants strongly appealed to the Taliban to embrace peace opportunities in particular the Afghan government’s offer to hold talks without preconditions.
The participants acknowledged that ending the conflict in Afghanistan required a political solution and reaffirmed their commitment to an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan.
In a joint communiqué, the Geneva conference participants agreed that peace in Afghanistan must be based on a broad political consensus from across society
On the day two of the conference, President Ashraf Ghani said his government had formed a 12-strong negotiating team to seek a peace agreement with the Taliban, as he laid out what he called a "roadmap" for the talks.
In a message read to the Geneva conference, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there was "a rare opportunity to move to direct peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban." "We must not miss it," Guterres added.
The European Union foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, welcomed Ghani's peace plan, saying, "It is time for concrete talks about peace to begin."
The US undersecretary of state for political affairs, David Hale, urged all sides to "seize this opportunity: to move toward peace." Hale called on the Taliban to "commit to a cease-fire and appoint an authoritative negotiating team."
"All of us need to facilitate the inter-Afghan dialogue," said Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who expressed concerns about the drug trade across the region's borders.
Zarif also said the "presence of foreign military forces has never brought stability in our region and has historically provided a recruiting ground for extremists."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow hoped for an end of Afghanistan’s "fratricidal war" and voiced concerns over militant attacks by the Islamic State extremist group in the country.
On November 27, the first day of the two-day Geneva conference, the European Union announced 474 million euros ($535 million) in financial aid for Afghanistan. (Pajhwok)