Khalilzad met with Ghani, Abdullah after meeting Taliban leader
KABUL: The US envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah after meeting the deputy political chief of Taliban in Qatar.
“Met with President @AshrafGhani and Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation @DrabdullahCE together and separately today in Kabul. I congratulated them on their agreement to form an inclusive government after protracted negotiations,” Khalilzad said in a Twitter post.
H also added “We discussed next steps required to implement the agreement between the 2 leaders. On peace, we agreed that violence is much too high and there is a need to move urgently to reduce it by all sides.”
“We also agreed on the importance of delivering (and soon) on other commitments made in the US-Taliban agreement and US-Afghanistan joint declaration including release of prisoners by both sides and the start of intra-Afghan negotiations,” he said.
In regards to his meeting with Abdullah, Khalilzad said, “In my meeting with Dr Abdullah, we discussed his plans for operationalizing his new role and will be working closely with him and his team.”
khalilzad had earlier tweeted “I held 3 constructive mtgs w/ Mullah Berader & members of the Taliban Political Commission. Emphasized the US-Taliban agreement is inter-connected: CT commitments, intra-Afghan negotiations, troop withdrawal, & gradual violence reduction leading to a permanent ceasefire.”
“All sides have implementation requirements on all fronts including on prisoner releases by the Afghan government and the Taliban,” Khalilzad said, adding that “I also raised missing Americans Mark Frerichs and Paul Overby as well as our concerns about recent Taliban attacks in Kunduz, Ghazni, & Khost. We discussed their concerns with President Ghani’s ordering offensive attacks.”
“On violence, I told the Talibs violence by all sides must fall. Innocent Afghans have borne far too much and for too long the costs of this war,” he said.
Khalilzad also added “The Taliban expressed their commitment to the agreement and its implementation. They said they would do all they could to locate our citizens. They will consult their leadership on the next step.” (Khaama Press)