US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a call conversation with President Ghani on Friday discussed the peace process and bilateral relations.

According to Presidential Palace, Lloyd stressed, that the Biden administration supports a prolonged peace and permanent ceasefire in Afghanistan.

President Ghani and US defense secretary, Austin also expressed their concern over escalated violence and targeted assassinations.

On the other hand, Masoom Stanikzai on Friday said, that a rush in the peace process count jeopardizes the interests of the Afghan public.

“The peace process should be accelerated, but stressed that rushing in this process should not jeopardize the interests of the Afghan people,” said Stanekzai.

In a virtual meeting, he discussed national, regional, and international consensus reached to the Afghan peace process with civil society organizations and social activists and focused that national institutions should be strengthened during the peace process.

Participants from 34 provinces shared their opinions and views with the Republic’s team, they demanded that the focus should now be on the reduction of violence.

The participants discussed causes of stagnations in the peace process, preserving achievements in the past two decades, Taliban absence from talks, protection of public rights, and women’s rights.

Stanikzai in reply said, that the team pays attention to all the aspects of the peace process, ,and that they are dealing with it responsibly, he added “Both negotiation parties should be accountable to the Afghan people,”.

This comes as International Crisis Group in a briefing under the title of “ Afghanistan: Give Peace Talks a Chance” indicated that the new American administration should review the US-Taliban deal, set its policy course on Afghanistan, and assess the Taliban’s commitment to the agreement.

The group demanded another six months and called on the US government to motivate the Taliban for a time extension above the May deadline.

“The Biden administration should immediately signal its commitment to continue supporting the negotiations,” the group added that “for the time being the US administration’s top priority should be to keep the Afghan peace process going and buy the time it will need to face the decisions coming its way,”.


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