President Ashraf Ghani and the United States Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday held talks on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference and discussed a range of issues, including the US South-Asia strategy and the Afghan peace process, the Presidential Palace said.
Pence said the US President Donald Trump announced the South-Asia strategy to take the fight to the Taliban, ISIS [Daesh] and other militant groups and that now they are happy that the Taliban have come to the negotiation table with the US.
He said they hope the discussions continue and the Afghan government also join in.
“We look forward to those discussions going forward and we look forward to your engagement and your government’s engagement,” said Pence.
The US vice president said he and the United States administration hope that a political settlement end the Afghan war and provide the ground for the country to develop.
He added that they hope Afghanistan once again should not be used by terrorist organizations.
President Ghani, meanwhile, said “the war in Afghanistan is no longer the US war, but of the Afghans”.
He said the goal of the South-Asia strategy was not war but was peace.
“After the transition and with the launch of the South Asia strategy, now the war is no longer an American war. We are grateful for the support, but it is our patriotic security forces that are doing the fighting and they are dying for a free homeland and for a secure world,” said Ghani.
Ghani said the South-Asia strategy worked well and helped Afghanistan and US to reassess the assumptions. He said the strategy was a game changer.
“South-Asia strategy was a game changer. And it has brought fundamental realignment and reexamination of assumptions. The South Asia strategy is working,” said Ghani.
Ghani said he hopes all the relations between Afghanistan, US and NATO be legal and state-to-state relations.
He added that he wants the relations of the Taliban with Pakistan, terrorist networks and drug cartels become clear and to show how they separate themselves from those networks and cartels.
“I hope that Taliban’s relations with Pakistan, terrorist networks and drug cartels become very clear. As to how they would separate themselves,” Ghani added.
Pointing to the Afghan peace efforts and Munich Security Conference, Ghani said peace is a gift that has been denied from the Afghan people for 40 years and that now the Afghan government is determined to take that gift to the people.