Afghanistan

Religious leaders in Jalalabad discuss peace efforts with UN officials

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27 April 2011 – Dozens of religious scholars or “Ulemas” in eastern Afghanistan today vowed to help work towards peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Speaking at a meeting called by the Eastern Regional Office of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA/ER) in Jalalabad, 25 religious scholars from the different parts of Nangarhar province discussed the causes of the fighting and suggested ways to help end it.

“There should be a third party, maybe the United Nations, which can mediate between fighting parties and speed up the process,” said the head of the Department of Religious Affairs in Nangarhar province, Asadullah Sajid.

The recommendations of the Ulemas will be shared with senior UN officials in Kabul. Similar meetings have been held around the country, with more expected in coming weeks.

In addition to discussing the peace efforts, the UNAMA regional read stressed the Mission's continued commitment to supporting Afghan people.

“UNAMA remains firm in expressing and condemning acts that offend the Islamic faith, culture and traditions. We fully respect the religion, culture and the tradition of the people of Afghanistan,” Nahid Abuakar, head of regional UNAMA operations centre, told the group.

By UNAMA Jalalabad