US Envoy in Kabul to Advance Afghan Peace Efforts : AsiaNet-Pakistan

US Envoy in Kabul to Advance Afghan Peace Efforts

January 15, 2019 | | Share:

ISLAMABAD Zalmay Khalilzad, the man responsible for overseeing America's negotiations with the Afghan Taliban, arrived Tuesday night in Kabul, after making stops in India, the United Arab Emirates, and China. He is expected to visit Islamabad next.

His outreach to regional players continues despite what seems like a setback in talks with the Taliban.

The [dialogue] process has halted for now so the venue and the date for a future meeting are not known, a senior Taliban official who is privy to the developments confirmed to VOA earlier this week when asked whether their peace talks with the U.S. were still on track.

Talks scheduled with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia earlier this month were called off by the insurgent group after it came under pressure by the host government to meet with representatives of the current Afghan government.

The insurgent group pushed to change the venue to Doha, Qatar, but later canceled those talks as well over disagreements on the agenda.

The last significant round of talks between Khalilzad and the Taliban was held in December in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the host government also took part in that round.

The Afghan government sent a delegation to Abu Dhabi in hopes of joining the talks, but the Taliban refused to meet them.

The group so far has resisted pressure from multiple actors, including the U.S., to meet with the Kabul administration, calling it a puppet regime unable to deliver on their demands.

The U.S. goal, according to a statement issued by its embassy in Kabul, is to encourage the parties to come together at the negotiating table to reach a political settlement.

Khalilzad will meet with President Ashraf Ghani, CEO Abdullah Abdullah, and political leaders to discuss the next steps in U.S. efforts to support and facilitate an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, the statement added.

Source: Voice of America

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