‘Afghanistan can't be sacrificed in peace process’

Afghanistan’s government is ready to compromise at the upcoming peace talks due to be held in Istanbul, but nothing concrete has been put on the table the country’s First Vice-President Amrullah Saleh has said. “We don’t want the constitution of Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic to be the sacrificial goat for a very crude peace process,” he told BBC Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur. “We are going to Turkey with sincerity, with seriousness and with conviction to bring peace... the ball is now in the court of the Taliban and the side of the Taliban to agree to a political settlement - they have not,” he said.

Video Transcript

AMRULLAH SALEH: No, no, no. Please do not be a negative disciple of what I say. I say we are ready for compromise, but we don't want the Constitution of Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic to be the sacrificial goat for a very crude peace process.

STEPHEN SACKUR: Yeah, but to be realistic, the plan on the table-- you are not prepared to accept. You are not prepared to accept sharing power with the Taliban. You only talk of elections, which the Taliban will not accept. So [? you don't ?] persuade me that there's any scope for hope.

AMRULLAH SALEH: No, Stephen-- No, there is massive scope for hope. This is a very rare window of opportunity, with the US so deeply involved to bring peace. But what is on the table is an idea. It's not a concrete plan. It's an idea for discussion, and we are ready to discuss every aspect of it. But nothing concrete has been put on the table. We are going to Turkey with sincerity, with seriousness, and with conviction to bring peace.

We don't want to be in the way of peace. The ball is now in the court of the Taliban, on the side of the Taliban, to agree to a political settlement. They have not. All they insist on is US withdrawal, victory of their so-called Jihadism and Madrasa culture. That's not going to happen in Afghanistan, with or without the United States being here. Taliban dictatorship will not be established in my.