Afghan President Says Regional, Int'l Coalition For Afghan Peace Needed
Sumaira FH 11 days ago Sat 15th June 2019 | 12:30 AM
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday addressed a summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Bishkek, urging for a regional and international coalition for Afghan peace to be formed
Bishkek is hosting a two-day SCO summit. The organization includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. There are also four observer countries � Mongolia, Iran, Belarus and Afghanistan � and six dialogue partners � Sri Lanka, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal.
"To overcome the risk of fragmented approaches to peace, a regional and international coalition for peace should be formed to work with us to create a coherent framework for dialogue and negotiations ... Coherent framework will result in quicker action and implementation," Ghani told SCO summit.
The Afghan president told SCO leaders that terrorism was a threat to the security of the organization's members and that a regional framework was needed to counter the threats.
"Terrorist networks are determined to rob us of a secure future. Agreeing to a regional framework is, therefore, in all of our interests," he added.
Ghani stressed that the cost of the conflict, especially to the civilians, had been "very real."
"However, the Afghan armed forces are valiantly defending our country and are not at risk of collapse," Ghani added.
US envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who is in charge of a US delegation for talks with the Taliban movement, has spent days in Afghanistan meeting politicians, civil society and women rights activists to discuss peace. Khalilzad has said in a Tweet that these meetings are crucial as the talks are entering a new phase.
There have been six rounds of talks between the Taliban and the United States so far. The latest round concluded in Doha in May. The Taliban movement has said that the withdrawal of foreign troops, including US personnel, from Afghanistan, is one of the key issues at the peace talks.