JALALABAD (SW) – President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Thursday urged the Taliban to shun violence and embrace peace.

He led a high-level government delegation to visit Nangarhar province on Thursday. During his visit, President Ghani attended a large public meeting, met with Nangarhar officials and various sections of the community and listened to their concerns.

Addressing the gathering, Ghani said he wanted a positive peace and was the guardian of the republic. He said that if the Taliban shun violence, they would be embraced. He added the Taliban must accept the fact that today’s Afghanistan is not what it was 19 years ago.

Speaking on the occasion, first vice president Amrullah Saleh blamed the Taliban for prolonging the peace process. According to him, the government has long been demanding a ceasefire, but the Taliban have not respond positively.

Saleh added that there was no condition in the peace process other than preserving democratic values. He said the Taliban had no legitimacy to fight and that the group was running away from the government’s assertion that peace talks should be based on Islamic law, rather than an agreement with the United States.

ENDS

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