United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged warring Afghan sides to seize the opportunity to strike a peace deal at the opening ceremony for long-awaited negotiations in Doha on Saturday.
“The choice of your future political system is, of course, yours to make,” he said, adding that he hoped the solution would protect the rights of all Afghan and protect social progress, including the presence of women in public life.
“I cannot strongly enough urge you, seize this opportunity,” he added.
The talks in the Qatari capital are aimed at ending 19 years of war in Afghanistan.
The Taliban’s political leader reiterated his group’s demand for Afghanistan to adopt an “Islamic system” as peace talks with the Afghan government began in Doha.
“I want all to consider Islam in their negotiations and agreements and not to sacrifice Islam to personal interests,” said Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban co-founder who spent eight years in Pakistani custody, adding that he wanted an “Islamic system” in Afghanistan.