Afghan president says ready to discuss elections to advance talks with Taliban
“We stand ready to discuss holding free, fair and inclusive elections under the auspices of international community. We can also talk about the date of the elections and reach a conclusion.
President Ghani met US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in Kabul during the past week to discuss ways to inject momentum in the stalled peace negotiations with Taliban representatives being held in Qatar. After his talks in Kabul, Khalilzad went to Qatar.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has begun a review of its strategy for Afghanistan, including an agreement reached with the Taliban in early 2020 that paved the way for talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government.
Afghan officials and western diplomats said that during his visit to Kabul Khalilzad had floated the idea of establishing an interim government after bringing Afghan leaders and Taliban leaders together for a multilateral conference outside the country.
“Any institution can write a fantasy on a piece of paper and suggest a solution for Afghanistan. These papers have been written in the past and will be written in the future. Our guarantee is our constitution.”
Elected two years ago, Ghani is not yet midway through his five-year term.