President Ashraf Ghani said negotiations with the Taliban are the only way to bring peace to Afghanistan.
He made the comment in a message to the nation on July 17 on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr festival that marks the end of Ramadan.
"The negotiations are the solution, the way, and this is what our nation wants, to end the bloodshed," Ghani said.
He also thanked the reclusive spiritual leader of Afghanistan’s Taliban for endorsing the peace talks.
In a July 15 statement, Mullah Mohammad Omar purportedly recognized peace talks with the Afghan government as "legitimate," saying the goal of the process is an "end to occupation" by foreign forces.
On July 7, Pakistan hosted the first official meeting between Taliban delegates and members of the Afghan High Peace Council.