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It’s really Afghan-owned, no foreigners in negotiating room

US Peace envoy Khalilzad says there would be no mediator or facilitator during intra-Afghan negotiations and that the Afghan themselves should find a political roadmap to end war in Afghanistan.

AT News

KABUL: After the starts of intra-Afghan talks between the Kabul peace forces and the Taliban negotiating members, the US said that this is really Afghan-owned process and no foreigners would be in the room during the talks.

The US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad said of course there are countries willing to help the Afghan peace process, but it is really Afghan-owned. “This is really Afghan-owned process and they don’t want any foreigners in the negotiating room, both sides.”

Khalilzad said that intra-Afghan negotiations would not include any “mediator or facilitator” and that the Afghan themselves should find a political roadmap to end the war in Afghanistan.

“Now we enter to a phase which is led by Afghans and owned by Afghans,” Khalilzad said. “There is neither mediator nor any facilitator.” But he said that the US would cooperate and monitor both sides.

His remarks came amid optimisms towards the Afghan peace process as a global consensus has been made to end the longest war of four decades in Afghanistan.

On Saturday, the regional and international countries’ announced their supports to the long waited intra-Afghan negotiations that began in Qatar’s capital, Doha.

The inauguration ceremony of the intra-Afghan negotiations was participated by several Afghan and foreign officials, including chairman of the reconciliation council, Abdullah Abdullah and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

While talking to the summit, Abdullah said that government negotiation team came to Doha with good intention to negotiate with the Taliban. “We must not lose this historic opportunity,” he added.

“US wants a sovereign, independent, united and democratic Afghanistan,” Pompeo said.

Head of the Taliban Qatar base political office, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar started his speech as saying “we stayed committed to the February 29th peace deal signed with the US, the opponent side (US, Afg-Gov) should also stay committed to it.”

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