Afghan President Ghani sees ‘window of opportunity’ for peace process

Afghanistan's Ghani sees 'window of opportunity' for peace process
Ashraf Ghani spoke to the BBC's Lyse Doucet at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Source: BBC
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Daily US Times: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says there is a “window of opportunity to accelerate the peace process” following Nato’s announcement that it has made no final decision on withdrawing troops from the country.

Mr Ghani made the comments in an exclusive interview with the BBC.

The Nato military alliance has close to 10,000 troops in Afghanistan. They were due to be withdrawn by May under a US-Taliban deal.

But there are concerns that Taliban violence in the war-torn country could intensify.

Mr Ghani told the BBC that Nato’s announcement provided an opportunity for “all parties to the conflict to recalculate and reach a conclusion that we’ve long reached, that use of force is not the solution”.

He said: “We must reach a political settlement.”

Afghanistan’s president added that there needed to be a “concerted effort” internationally “to send signals that certain types of behaviour are unacceptable”.

Mr Ghani would not be drawn on how many foreign troops were needed, or for how long, saying it “depends on the intensity of the war”.

US President Joe Biden is currently reviewing the deal struck by his predecessor Donald Trump. While most foreign soldiers now in Afghanistan are not US forces, the Nato operation could find it hard to continue if American support was withdrawn.

The current US presence in the country dates back to 2001 when soldiers invaded to remove the Taliban government from power, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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