Published: Mon, August 12, 2019

Afghan president says peace coming but outsiders can't decide future

Afghan president says peace coming but outsiders can't decide future

An agreement with Washington is expected to pave the way for direct talks between the Taliban, the government and Afghan leaders.

The US has been negotiating with its longtime foe over the past year for a pact that would see the Pentagon begin to withdraw its 14,000 troops from Afghanistan. "We don't want a peace that would cause our people to leave their country".

The document, to be inked before worldwide witnesses, would also require the Taliban to immediately start negotiations with stakeholders in Afghanistan, including envoys of the US -backed government in Kabul, to discuss a nationwide ceasefire and matters related to future governance in the crisis-hit country. "Afghanistan needs to elect a president and to have a new government so it can make powerful and hard peace decisions with full authority and dignity", he said.

"Our future can not be decided outside, whether in the capital cities of our friends, nemeses or neighbors". Over the last few days, the two sides focused on technical details. "The fate of Afghanistan will be decided here in Afghanistan", he said.

"I hope this is the last Eid where #Afghanistan is at war", Khalilzad said on Twitter, adding that negotiators were working toward a "lasting & honorable peace agreement and a sovereign Afghanistan which poses no threat to any other country".

Speaking after the Eid prayers, Ghani insisted that next month's presidential election is essential so that Afghanistan's leader will have a powerful mandate to decide the country's future after years of war.

Ghani and his government have not been involved in the negotiations.

Without a Taliban commitment to power-sharing talks and a ceasefire, there are fears the insurgents will fight on when US forces leave in a bid to overthrow the government.

"Peace is the desire of each Afghan and peace will come, there shouldn't be any doubt about it", he said.

More than 2,400 United States service members have died in Afghanistan since then. I know Afghans yearn for peace.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday again took a swipe at the ongoing USA -led peace effort.

Both sides hope to finalize a peace deal in the eighth round of the talks.

However, both Daesh's affiliate and al Qaeda remain active in the country. The U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat mission in 2014, but around 20,000 American and allied troops remain in the country.

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