Afghan, Pakistani clerics meet in Mecca for Afghanistan peace

Riyadh, Jun 10 (EFE).- Afghan and Pakistani clerics and political representatives on Thursday condemned extremist violence at the end of a meeting in the Saudi city of Mecca on the peace process in Afghanistan.

The Declaration of Peace in Afghanistan conference was hosted by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz and organized by the Muslim World League.

“Violence is not linked to any religion, nationality, civilization or race,” the delegates said in a closing statement.

“Violence resulting from extremism and terrorism in all its forms, including that against civilians and suicide attacks, is contrary to the basic principles of the Islamic faith,” it added.

 In the opening session, Afghan ambassador to the Kingdom Ahmad Mojadidy said the “continuation of the war after the withdrawal (of international troops) would threaten the entire region… We hope everyone will support peace,” according to the Saudi state television al-Ekhbariya.                            

Bilal Akbar, Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said the meeting sought a comprehensive political solution in Afghanistan, stressing the need to focus on “mechanisms to maintain the ceasefire.”

Among the participants were Afghan acting minister of Haj and Religious Affairs Mohammad Qasim Halimi and Pakistani minister for Religious Affairs Noor al-Haq Qadri, along with a score of religious scholars from both countries.

The conference comes amid a surge of violence in Afghanistan.

The Taliban has taken control of at least 11 districts since the start of the official withdrawal of the United States and other NATO troops in Afghanistan on May 1, casting doubt on the ability of Afghan security forces to withstand insurgent attacks.

Meanwhile, delegations from the Afghan government and the Taliban are in Qatar for the intra-Afghan talks, which began in September 2020.


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