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HCNR meeting is a welcoming, positive move toward peace

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KABUL: The Afghan politicians and foreign stakeholders in the Afghan peace process have welcomed the formation and the first leadership committee meeting of the Afghanistan High Council for National Reconciliation. The committee held their first maiden meeting on Saturday with participation of Afghan leaders, Jihadi and influential figures. The participants had stressed for the urgent need to stop the unending war through dialogues.

The United States welcomed the formation and the first Leadership Committee meeting of the Afghanistan High Council for National Reconciliation. “This inclusive body is chaired by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Afghan leaders across the political spectrum have unified to make decisions and mobilize support for a just and lasting peace. All sides of the conflict should come together and chart a path to peace,” a statement from the US Department of State said.

As an authoritative body on peace, the High Council and its Leadership Committee will provide counsel and guidance to the Islamic Republic negotiating team with the Taliban on the terms of an agreement on a political roadmap, power-sharing, and a permanent ceasefire to end the country’s long war, the statement added.

NATO also welcomed the meeting, terming it a positive step by the Afghan leaders towards an inclusive peace and a stable Afghanistan.

The French embassy in Kabul also welcomed the meeting as an important step toward the Afghan peace process.

“I welcome the first meeting of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR). Unity is crucial for a peace that benefits the rights of all Afghan people. With HCNR as the designated guidance body for d negotiations, an important step is taken in the Afghan peace process,” French Ambassador, David Martinon said.

The council should be inclusive, said Shahzada Masoud, former Advisor to ex-President Hamid Karzai, while welcoming the first meeting of the Leadership Committee of (HCNR).

Mr. Masoud believes beside political parties, Jihadi leaders, and politicians, other prominent figures such as Ulema, youth and civil activists must also have a role in the council.

“All Afghan segments have to see themselves in the council; otherwise, the result won’t be as fruitful as expected.”

It would be better not to divide the council between the two teams only, Mr. Masoud said, adding the council should represent all the Afghans.

It was late, but still a good step, Mr. Masoud said referring to the first meeting of the Leadership Committee of HCNR.

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