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Khalilzad to press Taliban, Afghan officials on peace talks

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad left for Doha and Kabul on Sunday to press Taliban and Afghan government officials to open peace talks, the US State Department said.
Khalilzad to press Taliban, Afghan officials on peace talks
Khalilzad left one day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah signed a power-sharing agreement that could help the peace process move forward.
In Doha, Khalilzad will meet with Taliban officials to discuss carrying out a Feb. 29 U.S.-Taliban agreement that called for prisoner releases by both sides and to "press for steps necessary to commence intra-Afghan negotiations, including a significant reduction of violence," the State Department said.
In Kabul, Khalilzad will meet with senior government officials "to explore steps the Afghan government needs to take to make intra-Afghan negotiations begin as soon as possible," it added.
Meanwhile, special envoys on Afghanistan from Russia, Pakistan, Iran and China have welcomed the agreement between Ghani and Abdullah, hoping it will expedite start of intra-Afghan negotiation, according to a joint statement.
They called on "all Afghan ethnic groups and parties, including Taliban to act upon the opportunities preparing the situation to launch the Intra-Afghan negotiations as soon as possible," the statement reads.
They called for foreign troops withdrawal in an "orderly and responsible way so that the situation in Afghanistan will experience a steady transition."
Source : Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)
Tuesday 19 May 2020 09:48
Story Code: 210306 Copy text available
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