KABUL (SW) – NATO has hailed progress made towards the proposed intra-Afghan talks following the three-day Loya Jirga for Peace in Kabul.
NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg said in statement that the Alliance welcomes the upcoming start of intra-Afghan talks. “All parties should seize this historic moment for peace. #NATO stands with #Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism, as we adjust our presence to support the peace process”, he said.
Separately, the Alliance’s Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo held a meeting with Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Haneef Atmar on Monday. “I welcome his efforts to build regional and international consensus on the #AfghanPeaceProcess. #NATO supports sovereign, democratic #Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbors”, Ambassador Pontecorvo said in a tweet.
This comes as President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani signed a decree for the release of remaining 400 Taliban prisoners a day after the Loya Jirga asked for it via a unanimous resolution. With the release of some 5,000 Taliban prisoners completed, the Intra-Afghan dialogue is set to begin in Qatar later this month.
Although, President Ghani said on the first day of the Loya Jirga that the Taliban had promised to start intra-Afghan talks within next three days once their prisoners were released, however, the state broadcaster has announced that the talks are scheduled for Aug. 16.