Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani (C) arrives at the hall of the consultative Loya Jirga in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, May 3, 2019. Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani once again called upon the Taliban group to give up fighting and join the peace process to end the war in Afghanistan as the consultative Loya Jirga or grand assembly of elders and chieftain concluded here on Friday. (Xinhua/Rahmat Alizadah)
KABUL, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani once again called upon the Taliban group to give up fighting and join the peace process to end the war in Afghanistan as the consultative Loya Jirga or grand assembly of elders and chieftain concluded here on Friday.
"I am calling upon the Taliban to get ready for talks inside Afghanistan and we are ready to facilitate the ground for talks inside the country," Ghani said in his concluding remarks.
The president also noted that his government is ready to hold talks with the Taliban representatives in the country including Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Balkh or any other city where the militant group likes to talk.
The consultative peace Jirga opened on Monday and wrapped up Friday amid tight security, with participation of 3,50 delegates from across Afghanistan to discuss ways and means on how to negotiate with the Taliban outfit to find amicable solution to Afghanistan's protracted war.
However, in the five-day Jirga, neither the Taliban representatives nor politicians such as former President Hamid Karzai and the incumbent government's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah attended.
The Jirga concluded with the issuing of a 23-article resolution emphasizing protection of the country's constitution, the political system, and immediate ceasefire at least in the month of Ramadan.
"The resolution issued by Jirga is a Road Map for us to achieve peace in Afghanistan," the president said in his speech, stating all the Afghans eagerly want to see lasting peace in the country.
Ghani also said he would set free 175 Taliban prisoners as a gesture of goodwill towards peace, calling upon the Taliban to respect the demands of people, end the war and initiate intra-Afghan talks for achieving peace in Afghanistan.
Ghani had categorically stated in his address on the first day of the grand assembly that his government is ready to initiate talks with the Taliban without any precondition, but noted any talks should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.