Afghan inks peace deal with second-largest insurgent group
The Afghan government and the country’s second -largest insurgent group Hezb-e-Islami on Thursday signed a peace agreement in Kabul – four months after the group announced its decision to do so.
The agreement was signed by Mohammad Amin Karim, head of the Hezb delegation, and Pir Sayed Ahmad Gilani, chief of the government-backed peace body the High Peace Council, at a ceremony attended by ranking officials and <g data-gr-id="15">Hezb</g> supporters, Xinhua news agency reported.
The deal was “the first step towards achieving durable peace and security across the country”, Amin Karim said after signing the agreement.
Expressing his support to intra-Afghan talks, Karim called on other armed groups, fighting against the government, to join the peace process and solve their problems through negotiation and peaceful means. However, he noted that the Hezb would continue its struggle until the expulsion of all foreign forces from Afghanistan.
Afghan Presidential Advisor on National Security Mohammad Hanif Atmar called for the early implementation of the peace agreement. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has also welcomed the draft peace agreement, said a statement <g data-gr-id="18">of</g> the world body's office.
“UNAMA supports the efforts by Afghanistan's National Unity Government to engage all those interested in establishing an equitable peace. This agreement demonstrates the preparedness of Afghanistan's government to seek peace with armed anti-government elements," the statement said.