President Ashraf Ghani on Friday invited the Taliban to participate in the government-led reconciliation process in the interest of last peace in the war-torn country.
Addressing the 4th foreign ministerial conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan in Beijing, the president warned that violence would not be tolerated under any circumstances.
He billed peace as the highest priority for his administration, saying: “We invite the political opposition, particularly the Taliban, to join an inter-Afghan dialogue and ask all our international partners to support the process.”
Ghani remarked: “We must not and will not permit the organisations pursuing grand illusions to use Afghanistan as the battleground or launching pad against an international system.”
While inaugurating the event on Afghanistan's security and reconstruction, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said: “Beijing will provide Kabul with $82 million of non-reimbursable assistance this year.”
Over the next three years, China would give the impoverished neighbour non-reimbursable assistance of $245 million. In the upcoming five years, Li added, China would help train 3,000 people of all circles and provide 500 scholarships for students.
According to a a statement from the Presidential Palace, the premier appealed to regional countries to support Afghanistan's efforts at dealing with problems, including security and stability.
The president said: “We think the Afghan issue has to be settled by the people of Afghanistan themselves. We believe that the Afghan people have the ability and knowledge to address their issues.”
The Istanbul Process, agreed in 2011, involves Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey, and has 28 supporting parties which include the US, Britain, the UN and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.