Khalilzad says US will back republic if Taliban rejects peace

Written by The Frontier Post

KABUL (Tolo News): US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on May 7 said that the United States will stand with Afghans who support the Republic if the Taliban do not choose peace. He made the remarks after concluding his trip to the region in which he visited Tashkent, Doha Kabul and Dushanbe. He said that he attended a meeting with their allies in Berlin.

Echoing a joint statement released after the meeting in Berlin, Khalilzad said in a tweet that “if the Taliban do not choose peace, a future based on consensus and compromise, then we will stand with Afghans who strive to keep the Republic intact.” But he reiterated that “Republic political unity is a must.”

Khalilzad said that there is a unique international consensus for peace, rooted in the support for a negotiated settlement, an end to violence, and rejection of any attempt to impose a military solution. Afghan leaders from all sides of the conflict should seize this opportunity and negotiate a political settlement to end their 40 yearlong war, he said.

International consensus does not stop at peace, he said, adding that the world remains steadfast in its support of Afghanistan as the country enters a new phase. This comes as special envoys and special representatives of the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, NATO, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States in a statement emphasized the need for continued international support to Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and said it will be necessary to ensure Afghanistan can defend itself against internal and external threats.

The envoys affirmed their commitment to UNSC resolution 2513 (2020) and emphasized that they oppose the establishment in Afghanistan of any government by force which would constitute a threat to regional stability.

The envoys acknowledged the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for an end to the war and a fair and lasting peace and confirmed that such a peace can only be achieved through an inclusive, negotiated political settlement among Afghans, according to the statement that was published by Germany’s Foreign Office.

This comes as violence has increased across the country following the Biden administration’s announcement on the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan. The announcement has been accompanied by fears and concerns about the country’s future once all international troops leave Afghanistan.

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