- President Ghani called on Taliban leader Mullah Habitullah to, if not face to face, meet by video conference for the public to watch.
- Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said "today we have so much distance from peace."
- The British Embassy in Kabul also wrote on its official Twitter page that the Taliban should show that they were serious about peace.
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani says the government is ready to talk to the Taliban, but insists peace talks are not possible without a ceasefire. Mr. Ghani said Afghanistan was at a critical juncture, and both peace and elections were necessary. He said that peace is the demand of the whole nation, which will belong to the whole Afghan nation.
President Ghani said if the Taliban thought that the Afghans would be defeated, they would know and see the answer. He called on Taliban leader Mullah Habitullah to, if not face to face, meet by video conference for the public to watch.
On the other side, Afghan Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah, referenced US President Donald Trump’s remarks regarding the termination of the Afghan peace talks, saying that the peace in the country was lost. Speaking at the eighteenth anniversary of Massoud Day, the commander of Jamiat-e-Islami in Kabul, Mr. Abdullah, said, “today we have so much distance from peace.”
A few days ago, President Trump wrote in a tweet that he had canceled talks with Taliban leaders and the Afghan president, which were supposed to take place at Camp David. In his speech, President Ghani, referring to talks with the Taliban and the future, said maintaining a democratic system in peace is in line with the government. He added,” the Republic of Afghanistan is not bargaining. The constitution of Afghanistan is not negotiable and the rights of men and women of Afghanistan are not negotiable.”
Mr. Abdullah then said in his speech, “look how many sacrifices have been made for peace, but today we are sadly so far from peace as we have in previous years, you have even heard the latest news, a potential opportunity to open the door to peace. There was a chance for him, he missed out, too.” After President Trump’s tweet, peace talks are no longer scheduled, and Afghan officials have not said what their next steps will be.
The British Embassy in Kabul also wrote on its official Twitter page that the Taliban should show that they were serious about peace. The embassy has in recent days referred to the violence, kidnapping and killings by the Taliban.
Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai announced that a Kabul Guardian soldier was killed in direct firing by Ahmad Shah Massoud’s supporters in a traffic light in west Kabul. Ministry spokesman said the soldier was shot dead by unidentified gunmen while on duty. The Kabul Guardians announced that they had arrested six people responsible and seized seven vehicles in connection with the case.
As in other years, some armed supporters of Ahmad Shah Massoud have opened fire in the streets and frightened people. Three people were injured in a bomb blast on a convoy of Massoud’s supporters in the Taimani area. While many citizens of Kabul had already made it back to their homes, the government in Kabul may be weakening, and unable to protect residents from the harm of illiterate militants.