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Taliban’s foreign meetings mean their recognition: MPs

Taliban’s foreign meetings mean their recognition: MPs

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Jan 12, 2019 - 21:30

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghan lawmakers on Saturday said Talibaninfo-icon’s meetings with foreign countries should not be allowed if they did not involve Afghan government officials because it was the question of the government’s legitimacy.

The lower house or Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members voiced their frustration after hopes for peace faded away with rejection of the Taliban to hold direct talks with the Afghan government.

Efforts for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistaninfo-icon have been increased by the US and other countries and the US Special Envoy for Reconciliation had so far held a number of meetings with the Taliban and regional countries.

Saleh Mohammad Saljoqi, a lawmaker from Herat province, said there had been high hopes for peace and reconciliation weeks earlier, but recently hopes for peace and conciliation had declined.

He said recent efforts by different countries and parties failed to arrange direct talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

Referring to Taliban’s meetings with foreign countries specially Iran, he said: “Instead of helping the Afghan reconciliation process, they (Iranians) held direct links with the Taliban under the pretext of helping the Afghan reconciliation process. Had our neighboring and regional countries recongnised our government formally and had our partners considered the current fight as anti-terrorism campaign and acknowledged the sacrifices of our children, they would never have talked to the Taliban in the absence of Afghan government representatives,” he said.

He asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue a formal statement and ask the neighboring countries not to talk to the Taliban without the Afghan government being represented.

Mohammad Arif Rahmani, another lawmaker, echoed Saljoqi’s views and said the Taliban’s meetings with regional countries without representation of the Afghan government meant recognition of the Taliban and undermining the legitimacy of Afghan government.

Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said high hopes for peace and reconciliation had weakened.

He said meetings of Taliban representatives with regional countries without the Afghan government’s presence would help the peace process.

He termed such meetings as interference in internal affairs of Afghanistan and said: “If anyone wants to help the peace process, it should facilitate direct talks between the Taliban and Afghan government.”

nh/ma

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