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Afghan High Peace Council: Imminent Meeting between Government and Taliban | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Afghan men stand at the site of a car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Kabul- Sheikh Ahmed Gailani, chairman of the Afghanistan High Peace Council, said that efforts will be made during the upcoming period to hold a meeting between the government and Taliban for the purpose of achieving reconciliation.

Gailani said that hopes are pinned on Riyadh’s role in the success of the reconciliation because Saudi Arabia is the state of Islam and the Two Holy Mosques.

“There have been solid relations between the kingdom and Afghanistan since the post-Soviet invasion of Afghanistan – Saudi Arabia continued to support the Afghan people during this period, after it and until the lining up of the transitional government,” Gailani told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He added that the Afghan government asked the kingdom to take part in the reconciliation process because it represents an important national topic.

Members of the High Peace Council affirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that negotiations with the Taliban have officially stopped but there are ongoing personal meetings.

They added that some small groups from the Taliban wish to start negotiations with the Afghan government.

They added that the Arab world is distanced from the Afghan case but Saudi Arabia can work effectively on adopting negotiations between the government and the opposition and influencing countries neighboring Afghanistan.

According to them, the Afghan people are longing for stability after more than 35 years of wars.

Furthermore, member of the High Peace Council Mohammed Naimi said some neighboring countries wish that war continues in Afghanistan because this serves their interest.

On whether Iran and Pakistan are among these countries, Naimi said: “We can’t specify but there are neighboring states trying to interfere in the affairs of Afghanistan.”