ATHENS -- Greece welcomes the start of peace talks in Doha between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, stated Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday, at the Afghanistan 2020 video conference on promoting peace, prosperity and self-reliance, during which he underlined that the current opportunity for peace should not be lost.
Addressing the ministerial pledging conference, he also called on all the neighbouring countries to collaborate and to abstain from any intervention in Afghanistan's internal affairs.
The Greek foreign minister said the historic negotiations were "an important step for establishing peace in the region" and highlighted the importance of a peace process without exclusions, where all the political factions were represented, as well as all the members of civil society and Afghan women.
Dendias called the conference "a very good opportunity for the international community to renew its commitment to help the citizens of Afghanistan in their struggle for peace, prosperity and self-reliance," with Greece offering a symbolic amount to help meet the targets of the conference, which is organised in Geneva.
"We fully support the establishment of democracy in Afghanistan. We believe that the reconciliation process is necessary for the country and the wider region's stability" Dendias said.
Along with its European partners, Greece was ready to facilitate and support the peace process that aimed to preserve and develop the political, economic and social achievements of the people of Afghanistan, Dendias said. Additionally, the enviroment of security and stability will allow Afghan nationals living abroad as refugees and asylum seekers to return safely and with dignity, he added, underlining that Afghan asylum seekers account for 40 pct of the refugees that enter Greece from Turkey.
"We are determined to continue supporting Afghanistan in achieving lasting peace and prosperity. On its part, Afghanistan should meet its international obligations in terms of establishing the rule of law, protecting human rights and gender equality, institutional reforms, tackling corruption and good governance," he concluded.