US welcomes first HCNR meeting, terming it positive step forward  

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KABUL: The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday praised the first meeting of the leadership committee of the High Council for National Reconciliation, a body that holds the mantle to take the peace process forward and guide relevant matters.

A statement from the US Department of State termed the council as “an inclusive and authoritative body on peace efforts. This is another positive step forward.”  

Pompeo deemed the body essential for counseling the republican negotiating team on reaching an agreement with the Taliban on a political roadmap, power-sharing and a permanent ceasefire to bring an end to Afghanistan’s long-running war.

“All sides of the conflict should come together and chart a path to peace,” the statement added.

This comes as Afghan political leaders held the first meeting of HCNR on Saturday, when politicians said the presence of Afghanistan’s influential political leaders have great significance for ensuring inclusivity and effectiveness in the peace process.   

The meeting attendees stressed the need for unity and consensus among political leaders to move the peace efforts forward.