Ashraf Ghani, Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo discuss peace process

Kabul: Afghanistan’s President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Saturday met NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan Stefano Pontecorvo and discussed issues including the peace process in Afghanistan, the Presidential Palace said.

In the meeting attended by National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib, the two sides exchanged views on the peace process, strengthening and equipping Afghan national security and defense forces as well as NATO support to the government programs, particularly on the peace and reconciliation process, the palace said in a statement.

Pontecorvo reaffirmed NATO’s commitment for supporting lasting security and stability in Afghanistan, said the statement.

The meeting came as violence lingers in the war-torn country after a peace deal was signed between the United States and Taliban in Qatar in February, which paved the way for a phased U.S. force withdrawal.

According to the agreement, some 10,000 U.S. and NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by July next year.