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Khalilzad Sounds Optimistic on Chances for Peace Talks

02 Jun 2020 The Killid Group

The U.S. chief negotiator for peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is hopeful that the violence continue to be low and the intra-Afghan negotiations will begin with the Taliban. “Since the Eid ceasefire, violence has been relatively low.  It hasn’t gone back to pre-Eid circumstances or conditions. And at the same time the government of Afghanistan in response to the ceasefire and the reduction of violence that has taken place has accelerated the release of prisoners,” he said. Amb. Khalilzad, was also aksed about the U.N. report that the Taliban have still close relations with al Qaeda despite the Taliban’s promises to sever its ties. “First, the report I have not read, but from what I’ve heard it covers the period until March 15th, and you remember that the agreement we signed on the 29th of February,” he said in response to the report. About the prisoner swap process, Mr. Khalilzad said the Afghan government has so far freed 2,400 to 2,500 Taliban prisoners since that pact was reached and the militant group has freed more than 400 government detainees in return. “We are in a good place,” Khalilzad said, adding that levels of violence in Afghanistan have remained relatively low since May’s Eid al-Fitr ceasefire. “We are optimistic that finally we’re moving forward to the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations.” About the U.S. forces pull out from Afghanistan, he said that the U.S. was proceeding with the drawdown. He highlighted that the agreement was “conditions based” and a troop withdrawal is a “prerogative of the President if he thinks that the conditions have been met and we could do it faster. The post Khalilzad Sounds Optimistic on Chances for Peace Talks appeared first on The Killid Group.

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