President Ashraf Ghani said the Afghan politicians attending the Moscow Talks have no executive authorities and are not officially representing Afghanistan.
In a exclusive interview with TOLOnews, Ghani said a peace deal with the Taliban will not be implemented unless there is nationwide consensus.
He said the Taliban’s move to cut ties with al-Qaeda was a major step forward in the peace process.
Ghani meanwhile gave his assurance that presidential elections will be held on time. Elections are scheduled for July 20 this year.
Ghani meanwhile questioned the mechanism of the Moscow Talks and said: “With whom, what will they agree upon there? Where is their executive power? Let hundreds of such meetings be held, but these would only be paper (agreements) unless there is an agreement by the Afghan government; Afghanistan’s national assembly and Afghanistan’s legal institutions.”
He said US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad consulted the Afghan government about his meeting last month with the Taliban and that the Afghan government was fully aware of what was happening at the US-Taliban meetings.
“All talks are shared with us. All talks are set with us. The peace talks will move step by step with our consultations and according to our plan,” said Ghani.
“A peace deal can’t be reached without nationwide agreement and without legal procedures. Has the Constitution given me the mandate to dissolve the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan?” Ghani asked.
Ghani meanwhile also rejected rumors about the formation of an interim government.
“Hundreds of rumors were made that talks had been held on an interim government; you can ask Mr. Khalilzad about this; he (Khalilzad) swore a hundred times that no one talked about such a thing,” Ghani said.
He said that elections will be held on time.
“Elections are ahead of us. Elections will be held one hundred percent. So be prepared to move towards the elections,” said Ghani.
Ghani said that appropriate grounds for peace have been paved – more so than ever before.
Ghani concluded that he is not concerned about talks between Taliban and the US but added there was the need for coordination regarding the peace process.