Middle East

Saudi peace push offers hope to Afghanistan

Fri, 2018-07-13 21:41

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabias efforts to bring “peace and moderation to the people of Afghanistan” have been praised by the countrys ambassador to the Kingdom.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the recently concluded International Conference on Peace and Security in Afghanistan, Afghan special envoy Sayed Jalal Karim said that the growing reconciliation in the country would allow “all Afghanis to confront the terrorists of Daesh on Afghan soil.”

Karim thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their role in organizing the Makkah peace conference.

“In Friday sermons in Makkah and Madinah, the voice of Islam and moderation came out to the world from these two holy cities of Islam. The Saudi Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta, along with the Saudi government, showed full support for a cease-fire in Afghanistan and called for reconciliation between the (warring) sides.”

Seeking peace

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani wanted peace, Karim told Arab News.

“Afghans need peace, the Islamic world needs peace — the whole region is boiling from terror and the terrorism of Daesh,” he said.

“Our president said we have to make peace with the Taliban so that together we can fight Daesh and all the other terror organizations in Afghanistan and the whole region.”

The envoy said that Ghani sought unconditional peace.

“This is the first time the government of Afghanistan has come out openly and said to the Taliban, whatever you want to put on the table for discussion, we are ready to discuss. If you want to discuss the constitution or the exit of the forces, all is open for discussion — and the decision has to be taken by Afghans of both sides.

“We saw the results of the presidents decision during the Eid holiday when we had three days of cease-fire,” Karim said.

The truce showed that the people of Afghanistan could agree among themselves.

“However, Afghanistans politics is an international politics. There is a lot of politics being played out in Afghanistan. We hope that all our neighbors and international partners can help Afghans to talk together and build peace.”

Karim said that 34 official representatives from Afghanistan took part in the Makkah peace and security conference.

The idea for the forum grew out of meeting between Ghani and King Salman during a visit to the Kingdom by the Afghan leader.

Ghani urged the Saudi ruler to extend “moral, political and religious support toward efforts to end the war in Afghanistan,” he said.

“As he always does in supporting us and all Muslims worldwide, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques responded to the presidents request.”

Ghani tweeted on Wednesday: “On behalf of Afghanistan I would like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to the ulema gathered at the conference in Saudi Arabia. I welcome the ulemas decision that the war in Afghanistan has lost its legitimacy.”

Main category: Saudi ArabiaTags: Saudi Arabia Islamic scholars plead for Afghanistan peace, stabilityOIC chief calls on Kabuls government to respond to Peace and Stability in Afghanistan conference

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