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Khalilzad to resume peace talks

KABUL (AT News): In the wake of prolong odyssey of Afghan peace process, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad on Saturday said he would resume soon next round of peace talks to find a political settlement to Afghanistan quandary.

“Getting ready to launch on another mission in hope of making further progress,” Khalilzad has twitted.

Khalilzad said he held talks with the ambassadors of India, Germany and Uzbekistan, where all sides exchanged views over Afghan peace process.

“In addition to briefing management while in Washington, I had the opportunity to consult with Ambassador Haber of Germany, Ambassador Shringla of India and Foreign Minister Kamilov of Uzbekistan on the Afghan Peace Process.

After concluding his seventh round of talks with the Taliban representatives nearly two weeks ago, Khalilzad said that incredible progression was gained over four main factors, which includes –counterterrorism assurance – intra-Afghan talks – US troop’s withdrawal – and a truce agreement between Afghan government and Taliban group.

His talks were halted for two days as an all-Afghan meeting held on July 7-8th Doha. A number of influential Afghan figures, civil atavists and government officials at their personal capacity participated the meeting, where they came up with a joint resolution of peace roadmap, which called for reducing violence and civilian casualty to zero.

However, the Taliban have so far rejected to hold direct talks with the government and node for a ceasefire to end the longest conflicts in the country.

Khalilzad has earlier said the US try to leave a positive legacy and achievements in Afghanistan, adding that Washington is not looking for a withdrawal agreement.

“We are not cutting and running. We’re not looking for a withdrawal agreement. We’re looking for a peace agreement. And we’re looking for a long-term relationship and partnership with Afghanistan,” he said once.

Meanwhile, US Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham, on Friday said on his twitter that he expects US president, Donald Trump’s administration will not admit Taliban’s demand of US troops pull out within a short time, adding that Washington “needs a good deal not a fake”. “We now have a small US military footprint, along with our allies, that is an insurance policy against the reemergence of al-Qaeda/ISIS types and help hold Afghanistan together,” he tweeted.

Trump’s administration is seeking for a political solution for the longest US war and decades of conflicts in Afghanistan. In September last year US president appointed Khalilzad as his special envoy for peace affairs in Afghanistan. He has so far held seventh round of peace talks with the Taliban officials in Qatari capital, Doha. In addition to talks with the Taliban officials, he visited a number of regional and European countries to gain support for the Afghan peace process. Khlilzad has said the US is looking forward to make a peace deal with the Taliban before Afghan presidential polls, which is slated for September this year.

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