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Afghanistan's Abdullah Pushes Regional Support For Peace Talks In Tajikistan

The chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah (left), meets Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe on December 22.

DUSHANBE -- The chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, has held talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and other top officials in the Tajik capital as he looks to drum up regional support for peace talks with the Taliban.

Abdullah, who is an ethnic Tajik, said on December 22 that he and Rahmon had discussed peace in Afghanistan for two hours, as the country looks forward to a second round of peace talks with militants to end almost two decades of deadly violence in the war-torn country.

Abdullah, who is on the final day of a two-day visit to Dushanbe, added that his side will defend "two of the most important goals of the Afghan people: stability in the country and securing the rights of all of the Afghan people," which have been achieved in the past 19 years.

Abdullah, along with other members of the Afghan delegation, also met with other Tajik officials, government members, and lawmakers.

Tajikistan's presidential press service said that Rahmon expressed "his support" for the peace process in Afghanistan and stressed that "constructive results from the peace talks will have a positive impact not only on Afghanistan but for the wider region and the world in general."

Last week during an online summit of leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a Russia-led grouping of several former Soviet republics, Rahmon expressed concerns over a reported concentration of armed militants along the Afghan side of the 1,400-kilometer Tajik-Afghan border.