UN welcomes efforts for political settlement in Afghanistan

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United Nations, March 1 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the “efforts to achieve a lasting political settlement in Afghanistan” following the US-Taliban deal.

“Today’s events in Doha and Kabul mark important developments in this regard,” Xinhua quoted Guterres as saying in a statement on Saturday.

He also expressed his appreciation to Qatar for hosting the talks between the US and the Taliban.

The US and the Taliban signed a peace agreement on Saturday in the Qatari capital of Doha in a bid to end a long-running war in Afghanistan.

According to a joint statement released by the US and Afghan governments ahead of the signing, the United States and NATO will completely pull out their troops from Afghanistan in 14 months if the Taliban held its commitments.

The statement also said that the United States is going to reduce its troops to 8,600 in Afghanistan within 135 days after signing the agreement.

The UN Secretary-General stressed the importance of sustaining the nationwide reduction in violence, for the benefit of all Afghans. He encouraged continued efforts by all parties to create an enabling environment for the intra-Afghan negotiations and a comprehensive peace process.

In the statement, the UN chief hoped that the deeply held aspirations of the Afghan people for peace will be realized, through an inclusive Afghan-led process with the meaningful participation of women and youth.

Guterres also reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to supporting the people and government of Afghanistan.

–IANS

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