Karzai Calls for 'Loya Jirga'
Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai addressed a press conference today stated that holding of a Loya Jirga, grand assembly of elders, was critical and that it was extremely important for Afghanistan to project a united front. He said a Loya Jirga should be held as soon as possible – and must include all stakeholders from politicians, to tribal elders, civil society activists, through to members of the public. In addition he said he was against the US's new war strategy, which he said did not carry a message of peace. He also called on the country to stand together in order to work towards strong cooperation and friendship with all foreign parties including the US, other countries and neighbouring states. Karzai also labeled Daesh and al-Qaeda as terrorists and condemned the Taliban for their actions in terms of killing civilians. However, he noted that he did not want the US to withdraw from the country but that "their presence must benefit Afghanistan".