Son of Afghanistan's slain peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani was on Saturday appointed the head of the Afghan High Peace Council to lead reconciliation talks with the Taliban, months after his father's assassination dealt a major blow to the peace efforts.

Salahuddin Rabbani, son of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, “was appointed in a unanimous agreement as the new chairman of Afghanistan High Peace Council,” during a meeting with council members at the presidential palace on Saturday, said President Karzai's press office in a statement. Stepping into his father's shoes, Mr. Rabbani, who is Ambassador to Istanbul, said in a statement that it was only through peace that stability and security can be ensured in Afghanistan.

“We look at peace as a religious principle,” he said endorsing the importance of an Afghan-led reconciliation process in the violence-hit country.

He said the peace process would be successful if it was led by “Afghans themselves, otherwise public confidence cannot be won in fulfilling this national and Islamic duty”.

President Karzai described Mr. Rabbani's appointment as a “move that will further forge national unity and an appropriate decision to prevent outside interferences into Afghan internal affairs”.

Burhanuddin Rabbani, was killed by a suicide bomber at his home in Kabul last September.

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