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Khalilzad urges no delay in talks as war worsens

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KABUL: The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad said tragically, the war continues in Afghanistan.

“The two Afghan negotiating teams announced in Doha they will take 20 days off to “consult on the agenda items. Tragically, the war continues. The need for a political settlement, reduction in violence, and a ceasefire remain urgent,” Khalilzad said in a tweet.

Given how much is at stake, Khalilzad said it is imperative that there is no delays in resumption of talks and they must resume on Jan 5 as agreed.

The two sides announced late Tuesday that the next round of the intra-Afghan negotiations would begin on January 5, 2021. None of the negotiating teams has mentioned the place of the next part of talks, but said they need to mull the suggestions offered by other sides for the negotiations’ agenda.

Unconfirmed reports say that the next round of the intra-Afghan talks would be hosted by a third state, while President Ghani’s National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib has suggested it be held inside the country. Mohib said Tuesday in a tweet that Kabul would have no problem with any location that Taliban choose inside the country for negotiations. 

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