KABUL – Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani called on Wednesday for patience on the progress of peace talks without any pre-conditions he offered to insurgent groups a week ago, and warned that terror groups would try to hamper any peace plan.
Ghani said it was normal for some people to have doubts over his peace call after four decades of war that have led to enmity and hatred.
“To reach this goal, we should be patient, and not let the enemy take the initiative in their own hands,” Ghani said during the Afghan Parliament’s opening ceremony, in his first public speech since he announced his proposal a week ago.
“Despite efforts by the government for peace, the enemies of peace – those who seek their interests in prolonging war and crisis – will oppose it,” Ghani added.
On Feb. 28, Ghani offered the Taliban political recognition and talks without pre-conditions as part of a proposal to start negotiations to end the conflict.
Ghani’s announcement came after the insurgent group on Feb. 26 proposed a direct dialogue with the United States, the first offer of its kind by the militants, who have refused to talk with the Afghan government and the US for years.
Unlike in the past, when the Taliban immediately released statements to reject these initiatives, it responded in an editorial in its digital media in an ambiguous manner.
A Taliban splinter group led by Mullah Rasul has accepted the Ghani proposal with conditions, asking that the negotiations be between Afghans and with no “foreign invaders” present in the country.
Afghanistan is going through one of its bloodiest phases since the end of the NATO combat mission in 2015.