President Ghani: Any Peace Agreement Which Doesn’t Protect Identity & Sovereignty of Afghanistan Will be Unacceptable

President Ghani: Any Peace Agreement Which Doesn’t Protect Identity & Sovereignty of Afghanistan Will be Unacceptable

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14 Aug 2019

President Ghani during a ceremony at the Ministry of Defense in Kabul on Tuesday expressed with respect to Peace Process that any agreement which does not protect the identity and sovereignty of Afghanistan, will not be acceptable.

He also said that new deal is not considered in the ongoing Afghan Peace process. “A new agreement between us [Afghan government] and the United States is not considered. I repeat, a new agreement is not considered,” Mr. Ghani said. “All international agreements will remain in their place.”

He said that a joint statement will soon be announced on the first day of negotiations with the Taliban which will clearly recognise the Afghan government as a legitimate government as it represents all the people of Afghanistan.

The president assured that there will be no room for compromise on the issue of Afghan National Defense and Security Forces when it comes to negotiations with the Taliban. He added that such a statement will also define the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as a legitimate partner of the international forces in the fight against terrorism.

“We don’t have conditions for negotiations but we do have conditions for peace. The first condition is that there will be no compromise on Afghan National Defense and Security Forces,” Ghani reiterated.

A few days back, the US and the Taliban negotiators concluded the eighth round of peace talks in Qatar and it is being speculated that the two sides are expected to sign a peace agreement within the next few days which will provide the ground for US troop withdrawal and reduction of violence in Afghanistan.

The peace deal will also facilitate intra-Afghan negotiations which will probably take place in a European capital within the next few weeks.

Last week, US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted that “We’ve concluded this round of talks that started Aug 3 between the US and the Taliban. Over the last few days, the two sides focused on technical details. They were productive. I am on my way back to DC to consult on next steps”.

Meanwhile, reports were surfacing that US might limit the scope of its troops in Afghanistan, which was rejected by NATO Resolute Support Head General Scott Miller on Tuesday. Gen. Scott Miller, in a statement on Tuesday, rejected reports of any limitations in US operations in the Afghanistan and said they they have no such orders and have made no changes.

Quoting senior Pentagon officials, the Newsweek reported on Monday that US personnel have been ordered to limit nearly all offensive combat operations against the Taliban and cease advising the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as the Trump administration proposes cutting US troop strength in Afghanistan by nearly half to 6,000 as a means of finalizing the “technical” details with Taliban leadership.

Gen. Miller clarified that Newsweek’s report is “inaccurate and speculative”, citing unnamed sources who are likely as far from the subject as they are from Afghanistan itself. “The characterizations of changes to our authorities and operations have no basis in fact,” he said. “We have no such orders and have made no such changes.”

This comes as the US and the Taliban negotiators concluded the eighth round of peace talks in Qatar. The two sides are expected to sign a peace agreement within the next few days which will provide the ground for US troop withdrawal and reduction of violence in Afghanistan.

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