Khalilzad claims Afghan peace talks entering new stage

Published: June 10, 2019
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US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation says Afghans must be engaged in the process more than ever. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation says Afghans must be engaged in the process more than ever. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

The United States (US) Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who is in Afghanistan, said he would “stay here for some time on this trip” and that he would have consultations with a wide range of people, TOLO News reported on Monday.

Khalilzad in a tweet said, “Peace talks are entering a new stage and Afghans must be engaged more than ever.”

On his first day of stay in Kabul, Khalilzad met with Afghan President Ghani.

According to Khalilzad, they discussed building further international consensus for peace and “also regional requirements and implications for peace including recent positive movement in Afghanistan-Pakistan relations and opportunities peace will provide for regional connectivity and development”.

“As Afghan peace process talks continue to progress, we agreed on preparation for intra-Afghan negotiations now is essential,” Khalilzad added.

Khalilzad also briefed Ghani on his trips to Europe and his future plans in the peace process.

The discussions were focused on intra-Afghan talks. The two sides also welcomed Germany’s role in this regard.

Khalilzad thanks Pakistan for facilitating talks with Afghan Taliban

The US embassy in Kabul said in a statement, “Khalilzad is in Kabul for consultations with leaders of the National Unity Government, political leaders, civil society, and women.”

Khalilzad visit to Kabul follows stops in Islamabad, Berlin, and Brussels. During his visit, Khalilzad will engage Afghans from across society.

On June 6, Khalilzad said, the US and NATO would make a shared decision on remaining in Afghanistan or leaving the country.

He is likely to meet the Taliban in Doha soon which will be his seventh meeting with members of the group.

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