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Khalilzad meets Karzai, signals progress in Taliban parleys

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KABUL: Former President, Hamid Karzai on Sunday met with the US special envoy for Afghanistan peace, Zalmay Khalilzad, discussing the ongoing peace process.

Karzai’s office said in a statement that Khalilzad expressed happiness of fresh progresses on the peace negotiations with Taliban, hoping that they could gain a deal.

Karzai praised Khalilzad’s efforts, emphasizing on more seriousness from the United States in the process.

Karzai, according to the statement, told Khalilzad of increasing civilian casualties by the US operations, calling for immediate stop of the operations. The former president also hoped that violence reduces in the country soon.

Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and an interagency team concluded a productive visit to Afghanistan on February 2. Ambassador Khalilzad continued his ongoing consultations with Government of National Unity leaders President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on U.S. efforts to facilitate a political settlement to end the war. They also discussed recent efforts by the United States to negotiate a reduction of violence with the Taliban to pave the way for a U.S.-Taliban agreement, intra-Afghan negotiations, and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire in support of a sustainable peace. Ambassador Khalilzad also consulted with a range of other Afghan leaders to hear their views. In all his meetings, Ambassador Khalilzad emphasized Afghans should continue to focus on bringing together an inclusive Islamic Republic negotiating team and preparing for Intra-Afghan Negotiations.

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