Asia - Pacific

Emotionally-charged Ghani invites Taliban to peace

No side loses or wins in peaceful settlement of conflict, Afghan president tells peace delegates destined for Qatar

Shadi Khan Saif   | 17.04.2019
Emotionally-charged Ghani invites Taliban to peace Afghan president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani

KABUL, Afghanistan

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday said there is no winner or loser in the peaceful settlement of the raging conflict in the country. 

Ghani was speaking to 200 Afghan politicians and civil societies representatives that would meet the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha upcoming weekend, in what is set to be a momentous development endorsed by Kabul and Washington.

“You are embarking on an assignment for which the people have waited for 40 years”, emotionally-charged Ghani said, and underlined the importance of lasting peace in the war-ravaged country.

He urged the peace delegation to share the ground realities of modern Afghanistan with the Taliban.

“Secondly, convince the Taliban there is no other way than direct talks with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and there is no other formula to end the war,” the president added.

Earlier in the day, the Taliban mocked the large size of the Afghan peace delegation saying the conference in Doha is not a “wedding party”.

“The creators of Kabul list must realize that this is an orderly and prearranged conference in a far-away Khaleeji (Gulf) country and not an invitation to some wedding or other party at a hotel in Kabul”, Zabihullah Mujahed, the Taliban spokesman tweeted.

Meanwhile, Doha-based Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies (CCHS) defended the long list, and announced it is set to host the breakthrough conference.

In a series of tweets, Sultan Barakat, director of the CCHS, said that leading Afghan men and women would gather in Doha to indulge in open, inclusive and representative dialogue for peace.

“The list of participants has been carefully prepared to ensure representation from all walks of #Afghan life, with the aim that the conference is the most open, inclusive, and representative #IntraAfghan dialogue to date”, he added.

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