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Khalilzad in Kabul to re-start quest for peace with Taliban

AT News

KABUL: Days after a political reconciliation between Afghan leaders, the U.S. special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, has arrived in Kabul to resume his formal quest and negotiations to seek peace with the armed group of Taliban, seeking to reconcile the militants with the central government of Afghanistan.

An official in condition of anonymity said that Khalilzad will be meeting with Afghan leaders and inform them about progress in peace talks with the insurgent group.

Khalilzad had flown to Qatar on Sunday to meet the Taliban representatives to discuss the implementation of the US-Taliban peace, intra-Afghan-talks and a ‘significant’ reduction of violence.

The most significant challenge is to establish a strong, unified narrative on both the Afghan and Taliban side to seize the opportunity and negotiate. But the war is escalating. The president’s order to resume offensive counterterrorism operations and to halt the release of Taliban prisoners makes the peace quest a long process.

Peace negotiations are taking a momentum days after Dr. Abdullah assumed the chairmanship of the Consultative High Council and would be leading all peace efforts. Ghani and Abdullah, who were opposing each other on power, forged an agreement on Friday to end the country’s political crisis after months of longstanding dispute.

The US is also speeding its quest to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. The US has approximately 13,000 troops in Afghanistan and about 5,000 of them are doing counterterrorism missions. The remainder are part of NATO’s mission to train, to advise and assist the Afghan security forces.

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