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World needs to support Afghanistan in its peace quest: Ghani

AT-KABUL: The world needs to support Afghanistan in its peace quest and mobilize a profound support to fight terrorism, said President Ashraf Ghani in Tashkent on Tuesday, adding that terrorism has no geographic boundaries.

Ghani said that Afghanistan will not spare any effort in its quest for lasting peace and the Kabul Process meeting earlier proved the intentions of Afghans for ending the war.

Ghani speaking at the Tashkent peace conference on Afghanistan demanded regional countries strengthen their cooperation and support for counterterrorism efforts.

Ghani called on all regional countries to support the Afghan-led peace process Afghanistan.

The president also discussed the military situation and said large operations have been carried out in the past two weeks to eliminate threats. He said the fight against drug smuggling has also been ramped up Afghanistan.

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also addressed the delegates and said the fight against terrorism was a common factor for the region and more cooperation was needed.

President Ghani also called for extended cooperation in the sphere of education sector.

On Monday, Afghan political leaders and members of the High Peace Council expressed hope and optimism that a renewed peace effort would emerge out of Tuesday’s Tashkent peace summit.

Afghanistan’s chief executive Abdullah Abdullah has also been upbeat about the conference as he said on Monday that it could lead to sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

The Tashkent summit is expected to be attended by the UN Special Envoy to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, as well as the foreign ministers of China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“The conference which is going to be held at a foreign ministers level has major importance. We hope that the conference proves helpful in meeting the aspirations of the people of Afghanistan,” said Abdullah.

This comes on the heels of the recent Kabul Process meeting where Afghan President Ashraf Ghani laid out a detailed peace offer to the Taliban. The conference will be summed up by a Tashkent Declaration, that will reflect the main points of the discussion. Uzbekistan hosted the first peace conference on Afghanistan in 1999.

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