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US Envoy Khalilzad on New Peace Trip as Taliban Cancel Qatar Meeting

09 Jan 2019 Did Press Agency

Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will lead an interagency delegation to India, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from January 8 – 21, according to a statement released by the US state department.

Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will lead an interagency delegation to India, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from January 8 – 21, according to a statement released by the US state department.

“He will meet with senior government officials in each country to facilitate an intra-Afghan political settlement,” the US statement said.

Mr Khalilzad embarked on his fourth round of trip to the region while Iran has held talks with Taliban delegation as well.

“Special Representative Khalilzad will meet with Afghan government officials and other interested parties to support and facilitate an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan, empowering the Afghan people to chart a shared course for their nation’s future,” the statement added.

According to the statement, US Special Representative Khalilzad continues to coordinate his efforts with President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, and other Afghan stakeholders to ensure an intra-Afghan peace process.

During his last trip in December, Special Representative Khalilzad reiterated that the only solution to the conflict is for all parties to sit together and reach an agreement on the political future of Afghanistan with mutual respect and acceptance.

The visit comes as Taliban announced Tuesday that they had called off peace talks with U.S. officials in Qatar this week due to an “agenda disagreement”, especially over the involvement of Afghan officials as well as a possible ceasefire and prisoner exchange.

Two days of peace talks had been set to start on Wednesday, Taliban officials told Reuters earlier, but the group had refused to allow Afghan officials to join.

The U.S. ambassador to Kabul, John Bass, tweeted that reports of U.S.-Taliban talks on Wednesday were “inaccurate” and added: “Taliban should talk to fellow Afghans as much as they talk to media.”

A separate tweet from the U.S. embassy in the Afghan capital stressed that intra-Afghan talks were “essential” to settling the conflict.

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Original Link: https://www.didpress.com/en/2019/01/09/us-envoy-khalilzad-on-new-peace-trip-as-taliban-cancel-qatar-meeting/

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