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Khalilzad In Kabul For Talks On ‘Next Steps’ For Afghan Peace

16 Jan 2019 Tolo News

The United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is in Kabul for the third time in less than four months after he was appointed to the post “to facilitate peace talks between Afghan government and the Taliban”.

Khalilzad’s third multi-nation trip on Afghan peace was started on January 8 and will continue through to Jan. 21, the US Department of State has said.  

The US Embassy in Kabul in a statement said Khalilzad will hold talks with President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah as well as political leaders “to discuss the next steps in US efforts to support and facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process in Afghanistan, empowering the Afghan people to chart a shared course for their nation’s future”.

His arrival in Kabul follows stops in India, the United Arab Emirates, and China where he held talks with senior officials and discussed the Afghan peace. 

Khalilzad tweeted on Jan. 13 that he held “fruitful talks” with senior Chinese officials “who committed to the success of Afghan peace”. 

“We discussed regional support for an inclusive peace process for all Afghans & ensuring #Afghanistan never again serves as a platform for terrorism,” Khalilzad tweeted.

On Jan. 12, he met India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in New Delhi where the Indian officials emphasized that the peace and reconciliation process in the Afghanistan “must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled”.

Khalilzad continues to coordinate with the National Unity Government and other Afghan stakeholders to ensure an intra-Afghan peace process, the US Embassy’s statement read. 

“The US goal is to promote dialogue among Afghans about how to end the conflict, and to encourage the parties to come together at the negotiating table to reach a political settlement in which every Afghan citizen enjoys equal rights and responsibilities under the rule of law,” the statement added. 

During his last trip in December, 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.

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