KABUL, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The Afghan government welcomed a decision of United Nations on Saturday for removing the name of former Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar from its sanctions list.
"We welcome the recent announcement of United Nations of removing name of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hizb-e-Islami of Afghanistan, and we are optimistic the move would further boost peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan," Mohammad Akram Khpalwak, presidential adviser in political affairs, told reporters.
On Friday, a United Nations committee removed name of Hekmatyar from the sanctions list.
In September last year, Hekmatyar signed a peace agreement with Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, which was brokered by Afghan High Peace Council after two years of negotiations, via a video conference broadcast by the state-run TV.
Hizb-e-Islami, a radical Islamic party, was the third strongest insurgent groups in terms of military power after Taliban and Islamic State groups, has been fighting the Afghan government and the U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan.
In 2003, Hekmatyar was designated by the United States as a "global terrorist" and his name had been blacklisted by UN. However, after the peace deal, the Afghan government demanded the UN Security Council remove name of Hekmatyar from its sanctions list.
Hekmatyar, who is reportedly living in eastern Afghan region, is expected to visit Kabul soon, and the government will have to provide security for Hekmatyar and his followers and release imprisoned members of the group under the peace deal.
The Hizb-e-Islami also fought against the troops of former Soviet Union in the 1980s.