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Khalilzad, Imran Khan confer on revival of peace talks

AT News Report

KABUL: US peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad during meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, they called on all sides in Afghanistan’s protracted war to reduce the violence.

During talks held in Islamabad, Pakistan Prime Minister reiterated his country’s steadfast and sincere support to the Afghan peace and reconciliation process launched since last year, according to media reports.

The envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, met Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday and was expected to hold talks with the country’s army chief today (Tuesday).

“The Prime Minister further underscored that it was equally important to guard against the negative narratives and efforts by any quarter to undermine the progress made so far through painstaking efforts,” said a statement following their meeting. 

“Achieving sustainable peace and security and ensuring long-term development, progress and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region was in Pakistan’s best national interest, the Prime Minister stressed,” it added.

Moreover, in a statement issued late Monday night, the US Department of State said that envoys from Pakistan, Russia, US and China in their recent meeting on peace in Afghanistan reaffirmed their support for Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.

“The Special Representatives of Russia, China, and the United States of America held their fourth consultation on the Afghan peace process in Moscow on October 25, 2019.  

The United States’ Afghan peace envoy remained in Pakistan on Tuesday as part of efforts to find a negotiated end to Afghanistan’s 18-year war, even though President Donald Trump hasn’t expressed any interest in resuming talks with the Taliban.

Officials in Pakistan, where the Taliban’s governing council is believed to have its headquarters, have been pushing for a resumption of US-Taliban talks since they collapsed in September after Trump declared a deal that seemed imminently dead.

Trump’s declaration followed a series of violent attacks in the Afghan capital that killed several people, including a US soldier.

Civilian casualties have been rising fast in recent months, according to the United Nations which blames both fighters and US and Afghan government security forces.

So far this year there have been more than 8,000 casualties.

For the first time, the United Nations reported earlier this year that US and Afghan security forces killed more civilians than fighters.

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