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U.S. peace efforts not aimed at seeking ways for exit from Afghanistan: Khalilzad

KABUL (Khaama Press): The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has the objective of the United States is to ensure a lasting peace in Afghanistan through diplomatic channels in a bid to ensure that the benefits of two nations are secure.

Ambassador Khalilzad also added that the United States seeks bilateral cooperation with Afghanistan and efforts are underway to reduce the cost of the war.

He made the remarks during a meeting with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, members of the political parties, civil society organizations, youths, religious clerics and other government officials during a gathering in the presidential palace on Sunday evening.

He also added that the United States is serious to a peace process considering the central role of the Afghan government and Afghan people, insisting that the United States wants a lasting peace in which the achievements are preserved and that results in to the conclusion of 40 years of war.

Ambassador Khalilzad further added that the objective of the U.S. peace efforts is not to seek a way for exit but is focused on maintaining peace in Afghanistan and strengthening of bilateral relations with Afghanistan would be discussed after a peace deal is reached.

Assuring that no difference exists in the views of the Afghan government and the United States in peace process, Ambassador Khalilzad said all steps and efforts are in preliminary stage.

Admitting that the progress has been limited but hopeful, Ambassador Khalilzad said he is hopeful to have more progress in this regard in coordination with the government and people of Afghanistan.

He went on to explain that the U.S. delegation had discussions on four issues during the past meetings with the Taliban representatives, including circumstances surrounding the relations of Taliban with Al-Qaeda network, presence of U.S. forces, direct negotiations between Taliban and Afghan government, and an overall ceasefire.

Ambassador Khalilzad also emphasized that there will be no progress until an agreement is reached regarding the four issues since the issue of ceasefire is one of the centric topics, promising that future decisions would be taken considering the central role of the Afghan government.

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