TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Chairman of the Afghanistan High Peace Council Mohammad Karim Khalili said any initiative for peace in his country needs to be exclusively supported by the Afghan people, noting that the Taliban also ought to enter talks with the Kabul government without being forced to do so.

In an interview with Press Shia Agency in Tehran, Khalili commented on the process of peace in Afghanistan, the presence of foreign forces in his country, the prospect of talks with the Taliban, and a conference in Moscow aimed at ending conflicts in Afghanistan.

Asked about the process of negotiations between the Kabul government and the Taliban, Khalili said if the planned conference in Moscow involves the Taliban representatives as well, the High Peace Council will hold talks with them, although it is not still clear whether such negotiations will be held privately.

The Taliban ought to hold talks with the Afghan government and the High Peace Council, regardless of the presence of US or any other country in the Moscow peace conference, he added.

Khalili, however, stressed that the Taliban’s involvement in the intra-Afghan negotiations will contribute to the pullout of foreign forces from his country.

“The foreign countries and Afghanistan’s regional companions could help the peace process, but we make it clear once again that the main peace will take place when Afghans themselves negotiate with each other,” he noted, and pointed to Iran as a good neighbor and friend of Afghanistan that could contribute to the peace process.

Khalili then stated that any country in contact with the Taliban is expected to encourage the group to join the intra-Afghan negotiations, adding, “No country could use force to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.”  

He finally emphasized that settlement of conflicts with the Taliban and their inclusion in the peace process will facilitate the war against Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group and will easily terminate the notorious group’s presence in Afghanistan.