Abdullah ready to have joint meal with HekmatyarThe Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah has said the Afghan government is close to conclude a peace deal with Hezb-e-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Speaking during a cabinet meeting today, Abdullah said negotiations between the High Peace Council and Hezb-e-Islami are underway.

Abdullah further added that the national interests of the country and the Afghan people are a top priority in all key issues, insisting that there will be no negligence in this regard.

He also emphasized that anyone joining peace process should lay down arms, stop insurgency activities, respect the Afghan constitution and reach to an agreement with the government.

In other parts of his speech, Abdullah hailed the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANSDF) for their devotion and commitment and said the Afghan people remains thankful to armed forces of the country.

The remarks by Abdullah comes as the Afghan government signed the draft peace agreement with Hezb-e-Islami last week.

Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Khan told reporters last week that the draft agreement has been signed and will become enforceable once the Hezb-e-Islami party signs it.

Khan further added that the group has agreed to have no links with the anti-government armed militant groups, insisting that Hekmatyar’s only demand is to remove his name from the international blacklist.

Meanwhilel, the United States has welcomed political negotiations between the Afghan government and Hezb-e-Islami party led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

“We support an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process for a negotiated resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan,” said John Kirby, spokesman of the US Department of State.

Kirby further added that all relevant groups, including Hezb-e-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, should be a part of such a political dialogue so that Afghans can talk directly to other Afghans about the future of their country.