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Khalilzad in Kabul for fresh peace push

AT News Report

KABUL: US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad has landed in Kabul on Sunday to hold talks with top Afghan officials. Khalilzad, who lead talks with Taliban until negotiations collapsed last month, is in Afghanistan amid speculation the US is attempting to restart the effort for Afghan peace to end US war in Afghanistan.   

After nine rounds of talk between Khalilzad and Taliban negotiators that took almost one year, President Donald Trump last month declared talks dead, saying Taliban don’t have intention for ceasefire.

“Khalilzad met with the president and briefed him about his recent activities,” Ghani’s spokesman Sediq Seddiqi said. “His viewpoints and the stance of the Afghan government for peace were discussed.”

The US embassy in Kabul declined requests for comment, but officials told AFP Khalilzad may next stop in Pakistan, which he also visited earlier this month and met informally with Taliban representatives.

Khalilzad also met Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah, Khalilzad, where both called for ceasefire and reduction of violence to start intra-Afghan talks.

“They discussed peace negotiation and the ground to reach to justify and durable peace in Afghanistan,” Abdullah’s office said in a statement.

Peace is a priority for the people, where Kabul and Washington administrations insisted over reaching a durable peace, the statement added.

In regards to presidential election, Khalilzad insisted over transparency of election and independency of Independent Election Commission (IEC)’s operation, the statement added.

Sayed Hamid Gailani, leader of the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan, posted on his Twitter account that he met with Khalilzad and his team in Kabul to discuss the country’s recent presidential elections and peace efforts.

Khalilzad’s visit to Kabul follows a meeting in Moscow he held with representatives of China, Russia and Pakistan, over restarting peace talks to end Afghanistan’s 18-year-old war.

Before that held talks with European allies, and previously he talked with Taliban leaders in Pakistan. It seems that US administration is willing to give Afghan peace talks another chance. After revocation of talks, Taliban group in one in another way said that they are ready for resumption of talks.

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