US envoy Khalilzad departs on four-nation tour for dialogue on Afghan conflict

Published: January 9, 2019
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Special envoy will be leading an interagency delegation to India, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from January 8 – 21. PHOTO: REUTERS

Special envoy will be leading an interagency delegation to India, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from January 8 – 21. PHOTO: REUTERS

Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has departed for Washington on a two-week tour in a bid to “facilitate a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan.”

Taking to Twitter, the US special envoy said that he would be visiting Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and India in his latest diplomatic tour. Khalilzad also stated the he would also be attending the Raisina Dialogue 2019 taking place in New Delhi from 8-10th January.

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In a media note, the US Department of State also confirmed on Tuesday that the envoy will be leading an interagency delegation to the region from January 8 – 21.

“He will meet with senior government officials in each country to facilitate an intra-Afghan political settlement,” the state department stated, adding that the, United States supports the desire of the Afghan people and the international community for a political settlement that ends the 40-year conflict and ensures Afghanistan never again serves as a platform for international terrorism.

“Special Representative Khalilzad will meet with Afghan government officials and other interested parties to support and facilitate an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan, empowering the Afghan people to chart a shared course for their nation’s future.”

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The state department stated that Khalilzad continues to coordinate his efforts with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and other Afghan stakeholders to ensure an intra-Afghan peace process.

“The US goal is to promote dialogue among Afghans about how to end the conflict, and to encourage the parties to come together at the negotiating table to reach a political settlement where every Afghan citizen enjoys equal rights and responsibilities under the rule of law.”

During his last trip in December, the US special envoy reiterated that the only solution to the conflict is for all parties to sit together and reach an agreement on the political future of the war-torn country with mutual respect and acceptance.

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