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Ceasefire must agree on Turkey Conference to boost peace efforts

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KABUL: Thousands of people from several districts called for an end to violence, saying that the ongoing peace efforts should be expedited. The gathering at the Ghazi Stadium called “Kabul People’s Voice for Peace” attended by thousands of people on Friday, where they called on the warring sides to agree on a ceasefire in the upcoming Turkey conference likely to take place on 16 April. Immediate ceasefire and an end to bloodshed in Afghanistan must be a key agenda in the Istanbul conference. They also called on the international community to help the Afghans get rid of foisted proxies, and pave the way to regional peace and integration.   

“We want peace and stability, they were demanding.  They also said that Afghanistan’s achievements in the last two decades should also be preserved in any peace process and in any political compromise agreement.

Speaking in the gathering, Kabul Kabul Governor, Mohammad Yaqub Haidari said that the Istanbul Conference had created a national and international consensus to reach a comprehensive peace.

We need peace now more than any other time, he said, adding the past 40 years of war has devastated Afghanistan intensively. He termed the gathering as reflection of willingness of the Afghan masses for peace.

This is as preparations are underway for the Afghan peace talks set to take place in Turkey, the U.S. State Department said. Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote a letter to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani putting forward Turkey to host talks to end the two-decade-long war in the country.

On March 12, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu confirmed Ankara would host a senior-level meeting between the Afghan government and the Taliban, the group which ruled the country prior to the U.S. invasion in 2001.

“Turkey is trusted by both parties of the negotiation. Both the Taliban and the negotiation delegation, meaning the government side, had asked us to host such a meeting before,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Turkey has coordinated with the United States on discussions with Afghan officials on both sides since the initial Afghan peace talks were announced by the former U.S. President Donald Trump in February 2020.

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