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Ghani renews offer of dialogue to Taliban, Pakistan

Ghani renews offer of dialogue to Taliban, Pakistan

Sep 20, 2017 - 10:04

UNITED NATIONS (Pajhwok): Welcoming the new American strategy for Afghanistaninfo-icon and South Asia, President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday called upon neighbours to join his quest for peace and regional stability.

“The Afghan government has proven that we are committed to peace through our own internal processes, as demonstrated by the agreement with Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon,” Ghani said in his address to the UN General Assembly.

He urged all of Afghanistan's neighbors -- near and far -- to support the Kabulinfo-icon process. He also asked for a change of perspective from international partners, saying the conflict in Afghanistan was not a civil war. But this war is not within our soil; it is over our soil.”

Today, he pointed out, more than 20 international terrorist groups had an imposed presence on Afghan soil. The future of Afghanistan mattered because it was a frontline state in the global effort to eradicate the threat of terrorism.

Ghani said with President Trump's recent announcement of his strategy to counter terror and stabilise South Asia, Afghanistan's enduring partnership with the United States and the international community had been renewed and redirected.

“We welcome this strategy, which has now set us on a pathway to certainty. The Afghan people have looked to the US for this type of resolve for years. We pay tribute to all the men and womeninfo-icon of allied nations who have served with us, particularly those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

The strategy consolidated all instruments of American power, conveying a message that the Talibaninfo-icon and their backers could not win militarily. Only through political settlement, he explained, enduring peace could be achieved.

"I call upon all ranks of Taliban to engage in intra-Afghan dialogue,” Ghani said. “We now also have an opportunity for a dialogue with our neighbours on how we can work together earnestly to eliminate terrorism and contain extremism.

"I call upon Pakistaninfo-icon to engage with us on a comprehensive state-to-state dialogue on peace, security and regional cooperation leading to prosperity,” the president remarked.

Afghanistan, he said, looked to its neighbors in south and central Asia, and was simultaneously strengthening national, global and regional connectivity.

“Afghanistan will again become a multi-faceted hub in the 21st century -- for transport, energy, water and mining -- for the benefit of the entire region's economic prosperity and security,” he concluded.

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