KABUL: The U.S. point man on the peace process Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Wednesday and held a meeting with President Ghani, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, and former president Hamid Karzai.
Khalilzad briefed the Afghan leaders on the progression of his trips to Qatar and Pakistan and his discussions with their officials. “The US is trying to use the present opportunity to ensure a lasting peace in Afghanistan,” said Khalilzad.
He added that regional countries, international community and international organizations are ready to support the Afghan peace process. “Washington conveys its gratitude to the Afghan government for the release of Taliban prisoners, and for all its efforts in the peace process,” said Khalilzad addressing the Afghan dignitaries.
In turn, Afghan leaders emphasized on continuation of reduced violence and – possibly – of ceasefire.
President Ghani said the Afghan government and the politicians had reached a consensus on peace, vowed to defend the pillars of republican and democratic government together, and pledged to end the war and ensure peace in Afghanistan.
Peace in Afghanistan brings regional security and economic stability, said the president, thanking the international community for supporting the Afghan peace process.
This is as Khalilzad is facing backlash in the Afghan Senate over a failure to convince the Taliban to curb their hostilities.
Earlier this week, US peace envoy Khalilzad embarked upon his Qatar-Pakistan -Afghanistan visit as part of the US government efforts to bring peace in the war-torn country. He visited Islamabad on Sunday and held talks with Pakistani Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa on the Afghan peace process. He met with Qatari officials and the Taliban as well, seeking to forge a stronger regional consensus on the Afghan peace agenda.