Ghani, Khalilzad emphasize upon reducing violence  

MONITORING (SW) – President Mohammed Ashraf Ghani met top US envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha on Tuesday.

The two leaders met in Doha, Qatar on the sidelines of crucial intra-Afgan peace talks between representatives of the Kabul government and the Taliban insurgents.

“I told the President (MohammedAshrafGhani) Afghans should not let the opportunity for peace to slip away. He said he supports the Islamic Republic negotiators doing their work as long as it takes. I said I’m encouraged by what I heard from all sides, including the two teams’ commitment to peace”, said Khalilzad in a series of tweets.

The US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation added Washington supports an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process and remains ready to assist. “We call on all nations, especially the neighbors and other key players, to do the same”, emphasized Khalilzad.

According to a statement issued by Arg (presidency), the two sides discussed efforts for peace and stressed upon the need for ceasefire in Afghanistan. “Both sides expressed concerns over the increase of violence by the Taliban and reiterated the need for an immediate and significant reduction of violence leading to a ceasefire”, it said.

Meanwhile, the US envoy said violence is too high, and too many Afghans are dying. “We are pressing for a significant reduction in violence that will lead to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire”, tweeted Khalilzad. He called for a significant reduction in violence to save lives; increase trust; broaden support for peace; and help the negotiating teams make progress at a faster pace.

The Afghan president Mohammad Ashraf first led a high-ranking government delegation for Kuwait to offer pay homage to the Late Emir of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Later in the day, the Afghan leader visited Doha where he met Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of Qatar; Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz al-Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar and a number of other senior officials of the country to discuss efforts for deepening Afghanistan-Qatar bilateral relations and mutual cooperation in various areas.