US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech after being defeated by Republican president-elect Donald Trump in New York on November 9, 2016. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. First Lady, Secretary of State and Senator has said the prospects for peace in Afghanistan would be slim if society is torn apart.

Clinton made the remarks during a keynote address at the meeting of the Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan on Tuesday, almost two weeks after Washington signed a peace deal with Taliban.

Emphasizing on the importance of women’s inclusion in peace process and the need for the respect for their rights, Mrs. Clinton warned that the prospects for sustainable peace would be slim if women are sidelined.

“If society is torn apart and women pushed to the margins, it is more likely that terrorists will find a haven. There can be no sustainable peace without women’s participation and rights,” she added.

This comes as efforts are underway to launch intra-Afghan dialogue following the signing of a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban group.

The U.S. and Taliban group signed a peace deal late last month after observing a 7-day reduction in violence.

The deal is expected to pave the way for the launch of intra-Afghan talks following the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners

The Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday signed a decree to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners on the occasion of intra-Afghan talks but the decree emphasizes that the remaining 3,500 prisoners would be released on the condition that there is a considerable reduction in violence.

Meanwhile, the Department says the Taliban group has taken steps to stop attacks against the coalition forces and in the cities but the group is still killing too many Afghans in the countryside.

Calling the current level of violence as unacceptable, Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokesperson said “This must change. Violence at these levels risks drawing both sides into a vicious cycle, serves no one, and undermines peace.”


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