Ghani’s administration is main hurdle for peace in Afghanistan: Taliban

The Taliban said Friday that President Ashraf Ghani’s government is the “only hurdle for the peace process” in Afghanistan.

Addressing a press conference in Moscow, Russia, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the deputy head of Taliban’s office in Qatar, stated that President Ghani has to resign as “negotiations underway and [all] would agree on a new Islamic State.”

Stanikzai, who is leading a Taliban delegation in Moscow, added that the Taliban is ready to work with a new government in the country.

“Negotiations underway end the government of Ashraf Ghani and establish a new Islamic state. The Taliban have reached an agreement with the US on setting up a new Islamic government in Afghanistan,” Stanikzia said.

He claimed that President Ghani’s administration is creating hurdles in the way of peace talks.

“The Aghan government’s officials are insincere in peace and they do not want to restore peace because if peace comes an Islamic State would be set and Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s administration would be terminated; therefore, they create hurdles in the way of the peace process,” Stanikzia stated.

Meanwhile, Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State in a phone conversation with President Ghani discussed the Afghan peace process and the US commitment toward Afghanistan said the US State Department in a statement on Thursday.

According to the statement, the US backs the Afghan peace process and political settlement.

“The Secretary highlighted robust diplomatic support for the peace process focused on helping the parties to the conflict achieve a durable and just political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire that benefits all Afghans,” read the statement.

The US will review the February 2020 US-Taliban deal, said the department of state.

“The United States is reviewing the February 2020 US-Taliban agreement and whether the Taliban are living up to their commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders,” added the statement.

Blinken also called on the Afghan leaders to support the historic opportunity for peace.