Several Afghan delegates including members from the Taliban group attended the 100th anniversary of Russia-Afghan diplomatic relations in Moscow today. The event is scheduled for two days starting today until May 29.
Delegates and the other participants came before the media to raise concerns regarding the security, social and political situations prevailing in Afghanistan.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the 100th anniversary of Russia-Afghan diplomatic relations, Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, “we hope that the peaceful settlement in Afghanistan happens as soon as possible”.
Addressing the Moscow ceremony, former President Hamid Karzai said “Afghans want friendly relations with Russia. We, the people of Afghanistan, appreciate Russia’s efforts for hosting talks on Afghan peace.”
Addressing event, Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar said: “they want peace, but the hurdles on the way of peace should be removed”.
Chief Executive of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan, Former Governor of Balkh Province Ata Mohammad Noor said that the last meeting between Afghan politicians and the Taliban in Moscow in February was successful. He says he hopes such discussions will continue on the sidelines of today’s meeting.
Atta Mohammad Noor emphasized that Afghans want a “real peace” with the Taliban”. He also called on the Afghan government and the Taliban to end the war as, according to him, Afghans have suffered a lot from the decades of war.
Noor added that flexibility from the Taliban is called for and said that there should be harmony among Afghans in order to achieve a “real peace”. Noor hoped that the meeting in Moscow will result in a ceasefire during the upcoming Eid al-Fitr. He said that he hoped a decision on the next meeting between Afghan politicians and the Taliban.
High Peace Council Chairman Mohammad Karim Khalili said-” Afghanistan loses dozens of youths on a daily basis”. He added that-” a dignified and just mechanism should be implemented for peace. We need a just mechanism for the two sides to end the bloodshed in Afghanistan.” Khalili added that-” Afghans can change the situation given that they make a step for finding a solution”.
Among others who expressed their views, former Interior Minister of Afghanistan, Mohammad Hanif Atmar said that “Russia is a good ally of Afghanistan in peace and stability. Russia can take other important steps for peace in Afghanistan”. Atmar mentioned that -“hurdles on the way of peace can be removed through dialogue”. He instantiated that he supports Atta Mohammad Noor’s suggestions on peace.
Founder and chairman of the People’s Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan, Muhammad Mohaqiq said-” Russia can play a positive role in the Afghan peace process”. He says he hopes such steps should become “more serious”. Mohaqiq reiterates that -“bloodshed in Afghanistan should end and that its start should be in the upcoming Eid al-Fitr”.
Abdullah Qarloq, the representative of the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, said -” war is not the solution and that Afghans want peace and a ceasefire”.