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US envoy’s new regional tour sparks hopes for Taliban talks

AT News

KABUL: The US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Peace, Zalmay Khalilzad started a fresh round visits to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Qatar.

Khalilzad’s new tour of the region has once again sparked hopes for the all Afghan negotiations among the people who think the talk between President Ghani’s administration and the Taliban would help the end of war and bring a durable peace to their war-hit country.

The US state department called the aim of Khalilzad’s visits to Kabul, Islamabad and Doha to take more steps in encouraging the two sides in Afghanistan to sit behind the negotiation table.

It said Saturday that Khalilzad would also assess the implementation of the US-Taliban peace deal commitment regarding the reduction in violence and prisoner swap.

The US and Taliban signed a deal in late February that encourages the US troop withdrawal as well as Taliban are bound to start negotiations with the government of Afghanistan once their fighters held in government custody are released.

Taliban restarted attacks on security forces after a 10-day long cease fire in different provinces, with the latest one in Badakhshan province that killed 11 government-backed local militias.

The government calls for a lasting cease fire as a precondition to start the intra-Afghan talks.

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