Afghan president says nation's fate can't be decided by 'friends, nemeses or neighbors'

Afghan president says nation's fate can't be decided by 'friends, nemeses or neighbors'
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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday that the nation’s future will not be left up to foreign powers, according to the Associated Press.

“Our future cannot be decided outside, whether in the capital cities of our friends, nemeses or neighbors. The fate of Afghanistan will be decided here in this homeland,” Ghani said following the Islamic holiday of Eid-al-Adha. “We don’t want anyone to intervene in our affairs.”

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His remarks come amid ongoing peace talks between the U.S. and Taliban forces without the Afghan government at the table. U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is pushing for a deal by Sept. 1, before the nation’s presidential election.

In his remarks, Ghani said the election will be essential to ensuring the winner has a clear mandate to shape the nation’s future, according to the AP.

The Taliban, which refused to deal directly with Afghanistan’s government, have denounced the Sept. 28 election, which has already been delayed multiple times, amid ongoing security threats, as a “sham,” warning Afghans to stay away from polls and campaign rallies.

“Peace is the desire of each Afghan and peace will come, there shouldn’t be any doubt about it,” Ghani said Sunday. “But we want a peace in which each Afghan has dignity. We don’t want a peace in which Afghans wouldn’t have dignity. We don’t want a peace that would cause people to leave their country. We don’t want brain drain and we don’t want investment drain.”