UK Calls for ‘Urgent Formation’ of Reconciliation Council

Kabul (BNA) UK embassy in Afghanistan in a statement calls for “urgent establishment” of the High Council of National Reconciliation, and for it to begin the essential task of providing direction for the Afghan peace talks. The statement said the UK supports the Afghan peace process as the only way to create sustainable, lasting peace, and bring an end to the high level of violence and insecurity across the country. “Making progress in Doha is therefore critical to preventing further unnecessary deaths,” the statement read. “The Council must be inclusive and represent the diverse Afghan population, allowing women, minorities, and other groups’ views to be seriously considered,” the statement said. This comes as the European Union delegation in Kabul in a statement on Thursday called for the “swift establishment and operationalization of the High Council of National Reconciliation,” a body designated to provide guidance to the peace negotiations. The Reconciliation Council, led by Abdullah Abdullah, faces criticism for the delay in filling its member posts, something which will impact the decisions made by negotiators in Doha. In August, President Ghani in a decree announced the appointment of members of the leadership of the High Council for National Reconciliation. Former president Hamid Karzai and other prominent politicians were on Ghani’s list but declared their opposition to being appointed. Abdullah’s office at the time said that the appointment of the council’s members was the duty of the council itself. The reconciliation council spokesman Fraidoon Khwazoon this week said efforts are underway to complete the members of the country in near future. Following the criticism of the council, Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday met with former president Hamid Karzai and former mujahideen leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf and discussed the peace process, the Doha talks and recent developments in the country, Abdullah said on Twitter.

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