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Taliban and their backers cannot win militarily, says Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani emphasizes terrorist threats and backs new U.S. strategy

GHANI IN UNNEW YORK: The Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said the Taliban and their backers cannot win militarily as he called on the group to engage in intra-Afghan talks to end the violence.

Speaking during the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, President Ghani welcomed the announcement of the new US strategy, calling it a comprehensive which Afghans have been demanding since long ago.

“The strategy consolidates all instruments of American power, conveying a message that the Taliban and their backers cannot win militarily. Only through political settlement can we achieve enduring peace and I call upon all ranks of Taliban to engage in an intra-Afghan dialogue,” he said.

President Ghani further added “We now also have an opportunity for a dialogue with our neighbors on how we can work together earnestly to eliminate terrorism and contain extremism.  I call upon Pakistan to engage with us on a comprehensive state to state dialogue on peace, security and regional cooperation leading to prosperity.”

He said the Afghan government has proven that we are committed to peace through our own internal processes, as demonstrated by the peace agreement with Hizb-i-Islami.   “Now, we call on all of our neighbors, near and far, to join us through the Kabul process in our comprehensive quest for peace and regional stability.”

President Ghani also added “However, moving forward, we ask for a change of perspective from our international partners. For too long, the conflict in Afghanistan has been viewed through the prism of civil war. But this war is not within our soil, it is over our soil.”

According to President Ghani, today, there are over 20 international terrorist groups with an imposed presence on Afghan soil. The future of Afghanistan matters because we are on the frontlines of the global effort to eradicate the threat of terrorism.

“Our brave soldiers are fighting and dying for this cause, and the sovereignty of the Afghan nation, every day. Though we may be on the frontlines, the threat knows no boundaries. For terrorist groups who are harbored in the region, an attack in Kabul and an attack in Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, London or anywhere else are equal victories. President Trumps’ new strategy includes the disruption and denial of sanctuary to terrorists whose motives know no boundaries,” he added.

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