The agreement reached between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah the new Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation has been welcomed by Afghanistan envoys from Russia, Pakistan, Iran and China who expressed hope that the move will help overcome the political crisis in the country and remove hurdles in peace talks in Afghanistan.
Russian Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov had held video consultations with China's Special Envoy for Afghanistan Liu Jian, Deputy Foreign Minister of Pakistan Safdar Hayat, and Iran's Ambassador for Afghanistan Mohammad Taherianfard on Monday.
The Representatives had an extensive discussion of the internal political developments in Afghanistan with a focus on implementing the US-Taliban agreement as soon as possible and launching direct talks between internal forces in Afghanistan, noted the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a joint statement. The diplomats also expressed their respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, and the decision of its people on their future and development, it said.
They also supported the "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" peace and reconciliation process, stating that the inclusive Intra-Afghan negotiations will acquire the national reconciliation and result in the instant end of the prolonged conflict. The Representative further called on all Afghan ethnic groups, parties and urged the Taliban to cooperate in creating the situation to launch the Intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and political rival Abdullah Abdullah have signed a power-sharing agreement two months after both declared themselves the winner of last September's presidential election.
Ghani spokesman Sediq Sediqqi tweeted Sunday that a political deal between Ghani and Abdullah had been signed in which Ghani would remain president of the war-torn nation. The deal calls for Abdullah to lead the war-torn country's National Reconciliation High Council and some members of Abdullah's team would be included in Ghani's Cabinet. The Reconciliation Council has been given the authority to handle and approve all affairs related to Afghanistan's peace process.
The power-sharing agreement between Ghani and Abdullah came over two-and-half months after the US inked a peace deal with the Taliban, providing for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and effectively drawing curtains to Washington's 18-year war in the country. The US has lost over 2,400 soldiers in Afghanistan since late 2001.
(With inputs from ANI)