The comments come as the Afghan government has blamed both the Taliban and ISIS for deadly hospital and funeral attacks in Kabul and Nangarhar this week and resumed offensive against the Taliban.
Khalilzad, who was speaking to reporters on a conference call, said that both the attacks were carried out by ISIS and urged Taliban and government "not to play the ISIS game, but to cooperate against it."
"We believe that ISIS and the Taliban are mortal enemies, and in the war against ISIS, Taliban have played an important role," Khalilzad said.
“There are forces such as the ISIS that doesn’t see peace in Afghanistan in its interest and are trying to increase violence to undermine the prospects for peace,” Khalilzad told reporters. “We are urging both sides not to fall into that trap but indeed to cooperate against terrorists including ISIS. So, we want this to happen as soon as possible when now, we’re still there in a significant way.”
The envoy said that the US has heard positive reports about the formation of an inclusive Afghan government.
Khalilzad said it would be best if intra-Afghan talks began while there is still a significant US military presence in southern Afghanistan and that he would soon travel to push for a de-escalation in violence and the release of prisoners.
The US-Taliban agreement scheduled launch of intra-Afghan peace talks for March 10.
Khalilzad said there were challenges over prisoners and violence.
He reiterated call for acceleration of release of prisoners and reduction in violence.
Khalilzad said that the agreement does not specifically mention for Taliban not to attack Afghan forces.
"But they have committed themselves to us that there would be a reduction in the level of violence by all sides, including the Talibs after the agreement’s signed," he said "They are violating the spirit if not the letter given that commitment that all sides will try to reduce violence," Khalilzad said.
Source : Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)
Saturday 16 May 2020 11:12