Saudi Arabia to hold Afghanistan peace conference
KABUL - Afgjanistan High Peace Council (HPC) officials on Tuesday reported that Saudi Arabia is expected to host a conference of Islamic scholars on peace in Afghanistan.
The two day conference will be held in the Saudi cities of Jeddah and Mecca and religious scholars are expected to announce their stance on the war in Afghanistan in a declaration. The conference is expected to be convened in a month’s time.
“When the war in Afghanistan is declared as a prohibited act in the view of religion, then the Taliban must show acceptance to the proposed peace package,” said HPC spokesman Sayed Ehsan Tahiri.
Meanwhile, US ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass has said that President Ashraf Ghani’s recent peace offer to the Taliban provides an opportunity to the group to respond positively.
“President Ghani at the Kabul Process conference offered what we see as an unprecedented historic offer to the Taliban. Its been supported by all of the Afghanistan’s neighbors including Pakistan, by the United States, by Russian, by our NATO allies and we believe its time for the Taliban to respond seriously to that offer and to start a conversation and negotiation with the government,” said Bass.
In addition, the Afghan government has said that Saudi Arabia in terms of its influence can put pressure on Pakistan and the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan.
“We are hopeful that this conference helps pave the way for peace negotiations in Afghanistan,” said Jawed Faisal, deputy spokesman for the CEO Abdullah Abdullah.
“The impact of Saudi Arabia on Islamic countries is high, undoubtedly, we can have cooperation of Saudi Arabia in this respect,” added Tahiri.