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US is not monopolizing Afghan peace process: Khalilzad

AT News Report

KABUL: The United States is not seeking for monopolizing the peace process in Afghanistan and was planning to reduce its role to help Afghans take more responsibilities for gaining a durable peace, the US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad says.

He says that every states including Russia could play their roles in cooperating with the Afghan peace program.

“The United States is decreasing its role in Afghanistan and Afghans themselves need to take more responsibility to reach a sustainable peace in their country. Each decision should be inclusively made to be useful in Afghanistan. The role of the region is also important because this is part of the proxy war,” Khalilzad said Tuesday in an interview with the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

He also hoped for a peace agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban before presidential election which is scheduled for September 28.

Zalmay Khalilzad, who has held several rounds of talks with the Taliban, said that considering delaying the upcoming vote for two times, there is a chance that the Taliban and non-Taliban sides reach peace agreement before the event. He also said that preparations should be taken for the vote.

He met with President Ashraf Ghani and other Afghan officials on Monday soon after he landed in Kabul, prior to hold the sixth round of talks with Taliban negotiators slated in Qatar.

Khalilzad added that he was not working on the US drawdown from Afghanistan, but was focusing on the peace after which Afghans wouldn’t need American soldiers in their home.

Taliban said at the end of the fifth round of talks in early March that the negotiations focused on the US pullback from the country and that Afghanistan would not be used by terrorist groups to threaten US and its allies’ security.

The US diplomat said he doesn’t think that terrorism would be eliminated when peace comes to Afghanistan, and fight against Daesh and al-Qaeda networks would still continue.

“We don’t say that there will be no problem when peace is gained in Afghanistan. Terrorism will not be eliminated. If war downs with Taliban, we will have still Daesh and al-Qaeda to fight with,” he added.

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