Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Afghan peace process: USA special envoy Khalilzad arrives in Pakistan

During the meeting today the US envoy discussed progress on Afghan peace process During the meeting today the US envoy discussed progress on Afghan peace process
Pablo Mccormick | 20 January, 2019, 19:27

USA peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with Pakistan's prime minister and other officials Friday as part of efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the 17-year bloody war in Afghanistan, officials said. The Foreign Office, however, did not confirm if any such effort was made.

He briefed FM Qureshi on his recent engagements in the region for Afghan peace and reconciliation process.

"The FM assured Ambassador Khalizad of Pakistan's support for the peace process", he tweeted.

Both the sides agreed that ultimately the intra-Afghan dialogue would be vital to agree upon the contours of a future Afghan policy so that the country becomes stable and prosperous and at peace with its neighbors.

The date of Khalilzad's next meeting with Taliban officials remains unclear after the insurgents threatened to stall the process over disagreements about plans to withdraw worldwide forces from Afghanistan.

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He is reportedly in Pakistan to seek Islamabad's help in getting the Taliban leadership into direct talks with President Ashraf Ghani's representatives.

Zalmay Khalilzad spoke to reporters in Kabul on his latest visit to the war-torn country, where he is at the centre of a flurry of diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the conflict which began with the USA invasion of 2001.

Faisal's remarks contradict Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's earlier statement in which he acknowledged that India had stakes in Afghanistan and its cooperation was necessary for the peace process.

Taliban envoys have met with Khalilzad on at least three occasions but have repeatedly refused to talk directly to the internationally recognized Afghan government, which they view as a puppet of Washington. It is Khalilzad's fifth trip to the region.

Since then, several attempts to resume the stalled peace process have been made by a four-nation group comprised of Pakistan, Afghanistan, the USA and China.

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The US official was in Beijing this weekend and held talks with senior Chinese officials.

The envoy will hold talks regarding the Afghan peace process and talks with the Taliban and the US Army's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Taliban officials, who confirmed the arrest, said he was later released.

Baradar was deputy to the late Taliban supreme leader Mullah Muhammad Omar. "The first priority for peace is for Afghanistan and Pakistan to settle their historical differences", he told Arab News. It was noted that taking the Afghan peace process forward remained a shared responsibility.

Officials in Islamabad say Pakistan is keenly aware that Afghanistan will continue to need huge amounts of foreign aid to keep its shattered economy afloat after any peace settlement and have been working closely with the United States.

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