Ghani Meeting With Karzai, Sayyaf, Abdullah: Sources

President Ashraf Ghani held meetings with a number of influential political leaders of Afghanistan including former President Hamid Karzai, the High Council of National Reconciliation chairman Abdullah Abdullah, and former jihadi commander Abdul Rab Rassould Sayyaf to discuss the ongoing security and political climate of the country and issues around national consensus, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Sources said that the meeting was held on Tuesday night and discussions were focused also on an upcoming UN-led conference on Afghanistan in Turkey and the management of the country after the withdrawal of US forces.

The Presidential Palace has confirmed the meeting and said that it was aimed to further promote political harmony in the country.

“The president of Afghanistan has had a series of meetings with the political leaders of the country for restoring a just and dignified peace, there is a consensus about this matter,” said Latif Mahmoud, a deputy spokesman to Ghani.

“Regarding this issue, the republic side needs unity, we have created this unity and are working for its further development,” said Faraidon Khawzon, a spokesman to Abdullah Abdullah.

This comes days after the Taliban announced they would not be attending the Turkey meeting which was scheduled to take place on April 24.

“The government needs to do whatever it can to promote a political consensus for a unified front against a group (Taliban) that is not interested in talking or discussions, whether it is military or political,” said Fawzia Koofi, a member of the peace negotiating team representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the talks with the Taliban.

“There have been some problems in our democracy over the past 20 years, democracy is a principle, but problems are always a common thing and they will be there,” said Mohammad Omar Daudzai, Ghani’s envoy for Pakistan.