The first meeting of the High Council for National Reconciliation held on Saturday with the participation of Afghan political leaders.
The members of the Reconciliation Council emphasized the need for unity among Afghan people and consensus between the political leaders to move the peace process forward.
Addressing the meeting, President Ghani said that the peace negotiations have entered the second phase in which there is a need for more consultations.
“Your presence is a clear message to our partners in the region and the world and our reconciliation team,” the president said. “The first phase showed that it is not an easy task, but it worked out,” he added.
He said the peace negotiations have entered the second phase in which there is a need for more consultations.
“The peace negotiations have reached the second phase. The first phase showed that the task was not easy, but it succeeded,” Ghani said.
In the meantime, the chairman of HCNR Abdullah Abdullah said that Afghanistan needs consensus more than ever.
“The first meeting of the reconciliation council is a big step for building consensus in the peace talks. We have to agree on what is the roadmap for peace?” said Abdullah. “violence is the main barrier in the peace process and ceasefire is the main demand of the Afghan people,” he stressed.
Mr Abdullah continued that the Afghan people are the owner of the peace process and entering the second phase of the peace process was a key step.
“There is a political will for ending the war. The majority of the Afghan people demands a stable and dignified peace. Peace does not mean returning to the past,” he underlined.
On the Afghan government’s peace negotiation team, Abdullah Abdullah said that the team proved two things: commitment to peace and commitment to the people of Afghanistan.
According to him, Afghanistan needs the international community’s support in pursuit of a stable and comprehensive peace.
Former President Hamid Karzai also said that the meeting is a good step for peace, which is the demand of every Afghan.
“Unity among Afghans will ensure the success of peace efforts and it is necessary for all the politicians of the country to work together to achieve peace,” Karzai said.
During the meeting, former Jihadi leader, Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayaf noted that peace is a necessity, but this is more necessary for us than the Taliban, because the responsibility of security of the nation is on our shoulders, not on the Taliban.
“”The peace negotiating team has shown its toughness and we must show our support for them too,” Sayaf said.
Former Vice-President Younes Qanouni cited that achieving peace is a national issue and must belong to all Afghan people.
“The roadmap for achieving peace and unity of different views will be part of the next meetings of the council. There is a need for the voice of the people to be properly reflected in the design and management of peace,” Qanouni added.