AT News Reports
KABUL: Concluding his seventh round of peace talks with the Taliban representatives in Doha,US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad on Tuesday said he headed toward China—a reflective of optimism by the Afghans over the recent all-Afghan talks.
“I had a meeting with Taliban this (Tuesday) morning. Headed to China now and then will return to Washington to report and consult on the Afghan Peace Process,” Khalilzad twitted.
The seventh round of peace talks between him and Taliban negotiators begun on June 29th and lasted for several days.However, the talks halted for two days as an all-Afghan Dialogue was held on July 7-8th in Doha, co-hosted by Qatar and Germany to prepare ground for direct talks between Kabul administration and Taliban group.
Khalilzad hailed the intra-Afghan talks, and thanked Germany,and Qatar for its organizing. “This dialogue gives hope for further progress to end the 40- year’s long war and the terrible suffering of the Afghan people,” he wrote on his twitter page, adding, “we will persist in our efforts by resuming our talks with the Taliban on 9th June.”
However, while Afghan delegates and Taliban members were talking over Afghan peace process on Sunday in Doha, a Taliban bomber carried a deadly bombing in southern Ghazni province, killing 12 people, including four security forces,and wounding scores of civilian, including schoolchildren.
Simultaneously, Khalilzad condemnedthe brazen attackthrough his twitter account.“It is unfathomable to endanger children this way. I strongly condemn this attack. Peace has never been more urgent and is the only path to ending terror and violence.”
On September 2018, US President DonaldTrump appointed Khalilzad as his special envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation.Khalilzad has so far held seventh round of talks with the Taliban officials in Qatari capital, Doha.The talks mainly focus on four factors which include –US troop’s withdrawal – counter terrorism assurance –intra Afghan dialogue and a ceasefire agreement.
Khalilzad departure comes at a time when China showed readiness to help Afghan peace process, as recently China’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Deng Xijun visited Kabul and discussed issues related to peace and stability in the war-torn country with Afghan authorities.
Ambassador Xijun briefed NSA Hamdullah Mohib in that tie about the Chinese efforts in the peace process, and assured China’s readiness to offer as a guarantor role for any possible peace accord between the government and the Taliban group.
China is ready to facilitate Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace talks, ambassador Xijun said, adding that without involvement of the Afghan government, any peace process will go nowhere.