26 February 2020

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President Mohamad Ashraf Ghani met on Monday evening with the administrative board and committee heads of the Lower House of the Parliament at the Presidential Palace to continue his series of consultative meetings on peace with various classes and strata of the society, a statement from the presidential press office said. Speaking on behalf of others, a number of MPs extended their congratulatory messages to President Ghani on his re-election for the second term in office and praised his endeavors for bringing peace to the country.
They expressed optimism that accord and unity of the Afghan nation and adherence to the Constitution can bring sustainable peace to the country, referring to the beginning of the weeklong Significant Reduction in Violence period, the statement added.
They called for protecting the constitution, providing support for the Afghan forces, safeguarding the hard-earned gains of the last two decades, and preserving the rights of citizens, particularly women in the peace process, and said they expect that a fundamental part in the peace process be given to the National Assembly, according to the statement. They also underscored the need to include all classes of society in the peace process and differentiate between friends and enemies, asserting that the survival, dignity and honor of the Afghan nation should be stressed as a principle in peace process.
First Vice President-elect Amrullah Saleh provided detailed information on peace-related meetings during the past one year as well as the preparations of the government of Afghanistan for the process.
He said in addition to the full preparation for peace, the government’s military measures and precautions are in place and its civil capacities are proven, and the president continues to hold consultative meetings with various Afghan demographics and strata, the presidential statement added.
President Ashraf Ghani thanked the Lower House members for strengthening the republic and said, the electoral victory is indeed the victory of ‘republic’, terming it the only mandate the government should abide by. “Our responsibilities and authorities have been defined in the constitution,” said the president as quoted in the statement, while underscoring that no agreement will be enforced unless it is approved by both Houses of the Parliament.
The president said that the government negotiating team will enter into the negotiations with a clear mandate and underlined this is the first time that consultations on peace are held at local, rural, district, provincial and national level.
The president underscored that the consultation will carry on and said peace is vital and is the main demand of our people, but we cannot close our eyes on governance and reforms, the statement quoted.
The president said Afghanistan has no permanent friends and enemies, but it definitely has permanent interests, so for us to secure our permanent interests, it requires planning and wisdom.
The president emphasized that the society and the government stand together and said grounds are prepared; we are proactive and attend the negotiations from a position of strength and never compromise on our defense and security forces.
The presidential statement quoted the president underscoring the need to identify and assess the possible risks and potential opportunities ahead in peace process and added, “We need to remain united and coherent and maintain our national stance. And as we are moving forward to achieve peace, we should strengthen our relations at regional level.”

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Kabul (BNA) During a telephonic call, the Crown Prince of Abdu Dhabi and Deputy Commander in Chief of United Arab Emirates armed forces, congratulated President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on his re-election, said a statement from the Presidential Palace the other day.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan described relation between the two countries brotherhood and friendly and emphasized on expansion of strategic and economic relation between the two nations. He hoped relations between his country and Afghanistan further strengthen during the second round of Mohammad Ashraf Ghani's presidency, the statement quoted.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Kabul (BNA) The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed the agreement reached between the United States of America and the Taliban, in consultation with the Government of Afghanistan, on nationwide reduction in violence across Afghanistan paving the way for sustainable peace, the OIC said in a statement on February 23.
The statement adds, “The OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen expressed the OIC’s full support and readiness to offer help, in any way possible, towards successful advancement of the intra-Afghan talks through an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process as reaffirmed by the resolutions and declarations adopted at the 14th OIC Summit held in Makkah on 31 May 2019 and at the International Ulema Conference on Peace and Security in Afghanistan held in Makkah on 11 July 2018.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Addressing women participants as part of the consultative meetings for peace in the country, President Ghani said Afghan women have a clear voice today and that after consulting with different strata of the country, will move forward with peace talks.
The meeting, which was also attended by the First Lady Rula Ghani, acting Minister of Information and Culture Hasina Safi briefed the meeting about women consensus for peace talks in Kabul and other provinces of the country, according to a statement from the presidential press office.
Minister Safi said 250 women in four working committees have collected views of women in Kabul and other provinces of the country, where they said that their rights shouldn’t be death at any circumstances, the statement added.
The representatives of the committees also spoke in the meeting, thanking president’s special attention towards women‘s rights in last five years.
They also emphasized that women should be given a practical and active role in the peace negotiations, adding that republic, citizens' rights and achievements should not be negotiated, and peace talks should be led and managed by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Hinting to women’s role in peace talks, first Vice President-elect Amrullah Saleh said there was a comprehensive plan for peace in the country, adding that Afghan government has stressed that women’s right would not be dealt, during separate meetings with international officials at the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
At the meeting, President Ghani said that Afghan women have a clear voice and that after consulting with different strata of the country, they will move forward with peace talks. He also said that Afghan government has a clear framework for peace talks with the Taliban, adding that they agreed for reduction of violence only to achieve a complete ceasefire in the country.
The president also said that the authorities of the negotiating team were limited, and that the final decision would be taken by the government and the people.
Emphasizing that women’s rights would be not dealt in peace talks, the president said peace was the main priority and that Afghan government was determined to deliver services to the people.

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