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Taliban must uphold its end of peace deal: NATO

AT News

KABUL: The Acting Foreign Minister, Mohammad Haneef Atmar and the NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan, Stefano Pontecorvo, have discussed issues related to the Afghan peace process and the future steps to move forward the talks.

“Had a very good meeting with the foreign minister, Mohammad Haneef Atmar. Despite challenges, it is important to maintain momentum towards intra-Afghan negotiations,” Pontecorvo said in a tweet, adding, “The Taliban must fulfill their commitments, reduce violence and pursue peace for the benefit of all Afghans.”

The both sides discussed the progress made in the peace process and collaboration between NATO and Afghanistan, Afghan Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday. “Taliban’s prisoners’ release, regional and international consensus were discussed between them,” the statement said.

Mr. Atmar has welcomed the NATO’s efforts regarding countering the terrorism and ensuring peace in Afghanistan.

Pontecorvo, who has been newly appointed as the NATO’s Civilian Representative to Afghanistan, held a number of meetings with the government officials and as well as media outlets to discuss NATO’s standpoint regarding Afghan peace process.

“Pleased to discuss some serious Afghan concerns about the peace process with the NATO civilian ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo,” Second Vice President Sarwar Danish said in a tweet. “NATO has the same concerns and there is a broad consensus on preserving democratic achievements, values, and the rights of minorities and cultural groups.”

In his series of discussions, Mr. Pontecorvo held a meeting with fires vice president Amrullah Saleh.  “NATO welcomes the government’s strong commitment to the Afghan peace process. It is crucial to keep focused on the earliest start of (intra-Afghan talks) underpinned by reduction in violence,” said NATO SCR Pontecorvo.

He also talked with the Governor of Kandahar, Hayatullah Hyat, and took his mind over local perspectives on the Afghan peace process.  “Peace cannot be only Kabul centric. Provinces have to help to shape the process for an inclusive, sustainable and lasting outcome,” Mr. Pontecorvo said.

He also spoke with the Afghan media representatives about the importance of freedom of press in the country

“You do a crucial job in keeping the public informed and the authorities accountable. Free media is key to lasting peace and security,” he told media representatives.

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