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Afghanistan pins hope on Saudi peace conference

KABUL: The High Peace Council believes that the upcoming conference in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah city could be the beginning of a hope for the government of Afghanistan.

A conference of Afghan peace process is set to be held next week in Jeddah.

“I hope we have some developments in the Jeddah conference that follows a similar one held in Abu Dhabi. Taliban had vowed to talk with their leadership on some unsolved issues and will attend the Jeddah conference after consulting with their leaders,” Ata Rahman Salim, a member of the peace council said Friday.

The US envoy for Afghanistan peace Zalmay Khalilzad, representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Taliban are expected to attend the conference, according to the High Peace Council.

Khalilzad and representatives from the said countries had attended the last week Abu Dhabi conference. Taliban who were highly expected to sit with government representatives in that conference, refused to talk to them even on the third day of the conference.

The government had a severe reaction to that, saying Taliban’s behavior was not what they expected, and that the militants did not want the region’s welfare, are not committed to peace and are seeking war ways that would give the group a “political defeat”.

Meanwhile, members of parliament say that the Jeddah conference will be useful if the government manages it properly by sending a powerful delegation.

“This is the government’s responsibility to manage the conference. We have to cooperate with the government just on condition that the government works for national consensus according to standards in the presence of political parties and civil society. We should be optimistic to this conference and not pessimistic,” lawmaker Sayed Ali Kazemi said.

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