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Turkey hails Afghan peace call on Taliban

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The Turkish foreign minister on Tuesday welcomed Afghanistan’s call for unconditional negotiations with the Taliban.

“We welcome the call of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for starting negotiations with the Taliban without preconditions,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said, while addressing the Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan in the Uzbek capital.

In February, the Afghan president offered an olive branch to the Taliban, who have waged a brutal insurgency in the country since the last 17 years.

Ghani said a cease-fire will be enforced, a political framework will be established, and steps will be taken to free Taliban prisoners.

“We want all the groups in Afghanistan to recognize the Afghan government, condemn violence and become part of legitimate politics,” Cavusoglu added.

He emphasized the need for participation of regional and international partners in the reconciliation process.

Cavusoglu also voiced Turkey’s support for a stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan, noting his country’s $1-billion financial support since 2001.

Speaking at the same conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underscored the importance of a constructive dialogue between Aghanistan and Taliban for peace and stability in the country.

Describing Ghani’s call for Taliban as brave and concrete offer, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini dubbed it as an exemplary opportunity for peace.

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