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Khalilzad Discusses Development Plans With Qataris, Taliban

04 Jul 2020 Tolo News

Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, along with seeking an immediate start of the intra-Afghan negotiations, held meetings over the past week focused on economic plans for a peaceful Afghanistan with Qatari development groups.

In this trip, he was accompanied by Adam Boehler, the CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation.

In a series of tweets after midnight on Saturday, Khalilzad said he held meetings in Doha with officials from the Qatar Investment Authority and Qatar Fund For Development, and discussed “the possibility of co-investing in Afghan projects to consolidate peace and unlock regional prosperity.”

He said that, provided there is peace, the "potential to amplify investment impact in Afghanistan with like-minded partners is real."

Khalilzad also met with the Taliban's Mullah Baradar and his team in Doha.

“We underscored the economic development opportunities that will follow a sustainable peace,” Khalilzad said, adding: “We agreed developing plans in support of peace can never start too early, assuming the two sides can overcome final hurdles on the path to intra-Afghan negotiations.”

Khalilzad said that the Taliban "recognize all Afghans will have to make compromises in order to draw in the required investment in Afghanistan’s future."

The Taliban issued a statement saying the group's deputy political leader Mullah Baradar on Thursday met the US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and his delegation in Doha and talks were held about the peace process, a swift completion of the prisoners swap and the intra-Afghan talks.

Similar topics were discussed in the US envoy’s virtual meeting in Tashkent with President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.

“We discussed the importance of quick-hit programs as well as longer term infrastructure programs that will provide significant employment opportunities.

Power and health care are two critical areas that merit support. They help with economic development and improve peoples' quality of life,” Khalilzad said about his last week’s meeting with Afghan leaders.

“A sustainable peace can mean investment with less risk, lower cost and faster capital deployment,” the US envoy said. “Investment is possible only if Afghan leaders make the decisions conducive for economic development. We also emphasized the importance of regional economic development and prosperity.”

This trip by Khalilzad started on June 28, during which he visited Islamabad, Doha and Tashkent.

Original Link: https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/khalilzad-discusses-development-plans-qataris-taliban

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