The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday welcomed a statement issued after a meeting held a day earlier in Moscow over the peace process in the war-torn country.

The Ministry called the statement a step forward towards the start of serious talks for achieving peace in the country based on the Afghan people’s demand, TOLO News reported.

It also backed the emphasis of the statement on a negotiated political settlement in Afghanistan.

“The Islamic Republic is the only inclusive and acceptable structure that can ensure political participation, pluralism, citizenship equality and preserving of stability in a diverse society like Afghanistan,” the Ministry added.

Moscow hosted the meeting of the extended ‘Troika’ comprising representatives of Russia, China, US, and Pakistan that focused on making progress in the intra-Afghan process to reach a negotiated settlement and permanent ceasefire in the country.

Following the conference, a joint statement was issued in which the four key participants stated that they would not support the return of the Islamic emirate system in Afghanistan.

The statement also recognised the will of the Afghan people for peace, called for a reduction in violence from all sides and for the Taliban to not launch a Spring offensive, and reiterated calls for a negotiated settlement for the conflict.

“We call on all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to reduce the level of violence in the country and on the Taliban to not to pursue a spring offensive, so as to avoid further casualties and to create an environment conducive to reaching a negotiated settlement.

“We recognise and welcome all international efforts that are underway to facilitate and support a negotiated settlement as soon as possible,” it added.

–IANS

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