President Ashraf Ghani met with the US Congressional Delegation led by Maggie Hassan and Chris Van Hollen and discussed a range of issues pertaining to security, peace process and development, yesterday evening at the Presidential Palace.
The senators welcomed the government’s commitment to hold presidential polls and praised the Afghan public for their participation, calling it significant for consolidating the democratic principles and practices.
They hailed the government’s initiatives that led to economic growth, fundamental reforms and increased national revenue, and praised Afghan Defense and Security forces who bravely ensured security during the election.
President Ashraf Ghani extended gratitude to the United States for its consistent cooperation and support for Afghanistan and offered his profound sympathies on behalf of the government and people of Afghanistan to the American families whose relatives paid the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.
The president said that the international assistance since 2001 has enabled Afghanistan to open a new chapter on reconstruction and renovation areas, which has led to remarkable achievements for the country. He added the path that Afghans have chosen is irreversible, underlining that the country has taken significant steps to achieve self-reliance.
President Ghani called for the international community to reconsider its assistance policy as an effort to further concentrate on an approach based upon the enhancement of trade relations.
President Ghani said the government and the people of Afghanistan are committed to upholding the republic system and achieving sustainable peace, with a process owned and led by the Afghan government. He termed peace a top priority of the government and said, “Afghans seek for a peace that put an end to the war and violence in the country.”
The president stressed that Afghans have become responsible citizens; the Afghan community is stronger than any time, and women play a crucial role in the peace process.
“The ‘notion of republic’ and achieving a ‘dignified peace’ have turned to the national debate in the country during the past two years,” said President Ashraf Ghani while underscoring that Afghans want that peace in which all values are preserved.
President Ghani said, “Our conditions for peace are crystal clear; protection of the republic and citizenship rights are our red lines.”
The president added that election was an imperative for Afghans to delegate the authority and grant legitimacy to their government, enabling it to move forward the peace process. The president hailed Afghan people’s participation at the election and described it as a testimony to their commitment to upholding the republic system.
The senators praised the government’s efforts, commitment and intention for peace and said Afghans have gone through decades of war and conflict and declared support for any peace effort which is approved by the government and people of Afghanistan.
They underlined that an imposed peace would jeopardize the achievements of the last 18 years, which is not acceptable. They added that the peace process will not produce productive outcomes if the Afghan government doesn’t play the central role.
The US senators reiterated that the United States stands with the people of Afghanistan and continue to support this country.