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Ghani offers to recognise Taliban as political group; urges to accept peace

Ghani said that his country was determined to overcome the current threats affecting peace

ANI  |  Kabul 

Ashraf Ghani, Ghani, Afghanistan
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Extending olive branch, President on Wednesday offered to recognise the insurgents as a legitimate political group.

Speaking at the 2nd Process Conference, which is being attended by officials from around 25 countries, Ghani urged the militant group to shun violence and asked them to come forward to accept peace, in order to save the country.

He said that the peace process and a ceasefire must be agreed upon and that the must be declared a "political group", TOLOnews reported.

The Afghan President tried to woo the with several offers such as providing security to those who join the peace process, freeing prisoners, removing sanctions against Taliban leaders, providing passports and visas for the Taliban members and their families and opening an "office" for the militant group, including in the capital

"The Afghan government must be accepting and we will also work on the list of freeing Taliban prisoners", TOLOnews quoted the Afghan President, as saying.

Ghani thanked the delegates for their support to the peace process in and said that the threats are increasing and the enemies of the country are transnational criminals.

Earlier in his speech, Ghani said that his country was determined to overcome the current threats affecting peace, adding that was going all out to ensure long-lasting peace in the region.

Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani earlier said that peace in would benefit the whole region and the world at large.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Ghani stated that his country would present a detailed peace offer to the Taliban and Pakistan on behalf of the Afghan people during the meeting.

"We wish to march toward a lasting peace in #Afghanistan and in the region!" he wrote on Twitter.

The Afghan president also called on Pakistan to sit down for talks for the sake of peace and proposed that the talks could be held in Kabul, adding that he wanted to start afresh and forget about the past.

Kabul, in recent times, has accused Islamabad of supporting cross-border terrorism and harbouring the Taliban.

The ongoing meeting aims to secure support for an agreement to end backing of cross-border terrorism and to find a peaceful solution in ending the decades-long insurgency in Afghanistan.

The conference comes after a series of deadly terrorist attacks that have ravaged the country in recent weeks, killing over 150 people, especially in the capital, Kabul.

First Published: Wed, February 28 2018. 16:29 IST