The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Tadamichi Yamamoto, on Tuesday held an introductory meeting in Kabul with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hizb-e-Islami.
According to a statement issued by UNAMA, the meeting took place as part of the United Nations support to the Afghan government’s efforts to engage all those interested in establishing equitable peace.
Yamamoto welcomed the continued implementation of the agreement between the government of Afghanistan and Hizb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, “a key step of which was the peaceful return to Afghanistan of Hekmatyar”.
According to the statement, Yamamoto said that the Mission appreciated Hekmatyar and Hizb-e-Islami's commitment to peaceful engagement in the political space, in accordance with the Afghan Constitution and existing legal norms.
“Hekmatyar’s commitment to attain peace through negotiations and his call to all parties to end conflict through peaceful means was also appreciated,” read the statement.
Yamamoto highlighted that respect for human rights, including women’s rights and freedom of expression, would be essential for enhanced stability in the country.
“The Mission supports HIG's (Hizb-e-Islami’s) peaceful reintegration into society, including, as per the agreement, through joining the civil service, the armed forces and similar, with appropriate vetting and merit based appointments,” read the statement.
Yamamoto also noted that all groups in society should enjoy equal treatment.
Late last year, Hekmatyar signed a peace agreement with the Afghan government and finally returned to Afghanistan after 20 years earlier this month.