Afghan ambassador hopes for direct talks between government, opposition soon

Afghanistan's Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sayed Jalal Karim expressed the hope that direct negotiations between the Afghan government and opposition will begin soon, in response to the calls of Muslim scholars and the recommendations of the International Ulema Conference for Peace and Security in Afghanistan, held in Saudi Arabia's cities of Jeddah and Makkah on July 10-11 respectively.

In a statement to the Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA) on the sidelines of the conference, Ambassador Karim welcomed the "Makkah Declaration" issued at the conclusion of the gathering on Wednesday. He described the Declaration as "balanced" demanding all parties to enter into a meaningful dialogue without preconditions, pointing out that it also contains a legitimate position prohibiting the suicide operations targeting innocent people.

"The Afghan government and the High Peace Council (HPC) will spare no effort to implement all the recommendations emanating from the conference," Karim stressed, adding that the meeting featured prominent Muslim scholars from different parts of the world, who came together to support stability in Afghanistan and to affirm that peace must be achieved in the Muslim society as well as the need for reconciliation among Muslims.

He stated that the government of Afghanistan has, for the past three years, been making great efforts to realize consensus of the Muslim scholars, spelling out that Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani called on the Taliban and all Afghan factions to join the ceasefire and engage in a constructive dialogue without preconditions.

Ambassador Karim underlined that the Afghan president is keen on Saudi Arabia's assumption of an effective direct role in any reconciliation in Afghanistan, adding that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman strongly supports the path to peace and security in Afghanistan. He expressed thanks and appreciation to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for hosting the Ulema Conference, stressing that Saudi Arabia has always been in the forefront of every good action in favor of the Afghan government and people.

Source: International Islamic News Agency