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Khalilzad arrives in Kabul ahead of sixth round of Taliban negotiations

AT News Report

KABUL: Zalmay Khalilzad, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation has arrived in Kabul on Saturday. A source privy to the government of Afghanistan said Khalilzad is visiting Kabul aimed to negotiate with Afghan leaders over ongoing peace efforts.

However, the source who suggested anonymous, did not further provide details over his trip, but this is his part of multi-nation trip for his efforts of facilitating intra-Afghan peace talks.

In this trip, the US Special Envoy is traveling to Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Jordan and Qatar from March 25 to April 10, according to the US Department of State. 

Khalilzad, meanwhile, said that he had “excellent meetings” with his counterparts at the European Union where they discussed their shared values. 

“We talked about our countries’ shared values, and about the meaningful political and social gains in Afghanistan over the last 18 years, especially for women and children, which must be prioritized in the peace process,” Khalilzad said. 

Khalilzad said in a tweet on Friday that he appreciates Mogherini’s thoughts for Afghans concerned about potential overlap in timing of elections and the Afghan peace process.  

“Enter negotiations as if there were no elections, united as a country, and do elections as if there were no negotiations,” Mogherini said at a press conference with President Ghani in Kabul on March 26. 

In his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday, Khalilzad briefed the NATO allies on the Afghan peace talks. 

“NATO and US forces serve shoulder-to-shoulder in Afghanistan. Our shared goal is to reach a peace agreement worthy of the sacrifices made over decades of war. Together we’re committed to achieving genuine intra-Afghan dialogue on a political settlement that ends the conflict,” Khalilzad said. 

According to the US Department of State, the Special Representative will consult with the Afghan government and other Afghans about the status of US talks with the Taliban, encourage efforts to form an inclusive negotiating team, and discuss next steps in intra-Afghan discussions and negotiations.

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