2017-12-06 | Diplomacy

Afghan High Peace Council sets no preconditions for talks with Taliban

Salaam Times

'Our main duty is to end the war and begin the peace negotiations,' said HPC Chairman Mohammad Karim Khalili.


Mohammad Karim Khalili, chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council, speaks at a Kabul news conference December 6. [Afghan Peace High Council]

Mohammad Karim Khalili, chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council, speaks at a Kabul news conference December 6. [Afghan Peace High Council]

KABUL -- The Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) is ready to hold peace talks with the Taliban without any preconditions, HPC Chairman Mohammad Karim Khalili said Wednesday (December 6).

"Our main duty is to end the war and begin the peace negotiations," he said in a news conference in Kabul, according to TOLO News. "People should be involved in the peace process. We had discussions with political parties, and they announced their support for the peace process."

The HPC is ready to hold talks with the Taliban "through whatever mechanism they suggest", HPC Secretary Akram Khpalwak said at the news conference.

"We hope the Taliban give a positive response to the call for peace," he said. "No one thinks war is a solution to the problem in Afghanistan."

The Taliban can open their office in Kabul or anywhere in the world for peace talks, according to an HPC statement.

International support

Positive coverage of the peace process by Afghan and Pakistani media can change the situation in the region, according to Khalili.

"We had a discussion with Pakistani journalists who visited Kabul [this week] and talked about the peace process and their role in it," he said.

The Indonesian government also has announced its support for the Afghan peace process, Khalili said.

"The Indonesians want to put an end to the ongoing war in Afghanistan and bring stability," he said.

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla and a group of the country's religious scholars are expected to visit Kabul in the near future.

Last month, Khalili headed a delegation that met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and other officials in Jakarta to discuss the Afghan peace process.

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