Khalilzad Meets Taliban Delegation in Qatar

Some politicians and ex-Taliban officials have stressed the need for the acceleration of efforts to end the war.

An Afghan source close to Khalilzad, and who follows the peace talks, said the special representative was optimistic about the Doha discussions.

Khalilzad is expected to arrive back in Kabul on Saturday.

Meanwhile a number of politicians have said that an office for the Taliban must be opened in Kabul.

Khalilzad met Taliban officials in Doha in Qatar.

“To resume the peace negotiation talks with the Taliban, we called on all countries, especially the United States to accelerate their efforts in this respect. We are moving forward with authenticity and peaceful management of the process as we are in a highly sensitive situation,” said Sayed Ehsan Tahiri, spokesman for Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC).

This comes after representatives of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, United States and Afghanistan, met in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to discuss efforts to restore security and stability as part of international endeavors to push forward the peace process in the south-central Asian country, according to an Emirates News Agency report.

The meeting ended with a set of recommendations that will contribute to realizing inclusive national reconciliation in Afghanistan.

“If Khalilzad wants peace to be restored in Afghanistan then he should consult the people of Afghanistan for the resumption of the talks,” said Abdul Wodoud Sediqqi, member of Shura-e- Aali Rah-e-Nejat party.

Meanwhile, some politicians and ex-Taliban officials have stressed the need for the acceleration of efforts for the peace process, the release of Taliban prisoners and a clear address by the Afghan government to be announced for the resumption of peace talks.

“All processes related to peace must be carried out in consultation with the people, Taliban and the Afghan government. If there is an interim government or the presidential elections are delayed, people’s views must be taken into consideration about it,” said former Taliban commander Sayed Akbar Agha.

Khalilzad was expected to travel to Pakistan before Saturday, but his close aides have said that his trip has been postponed.

Pakistan’s media reported that Khalilzad postponed his trip to Islamabad because Pakistan’s prime minister and foreign minister are on an official tour Malaysia.

This came after US Secretary of Defense James Mattis thanked Qatar for its efforts in support of peace in Afghanistan and for being a “long-time friend and military partner” to the US and NATO.

Speaking ahead of a meeting in Washington on Tuesday, Mattis welcomed the Qatari Minister of Defense Khalid Al-Attiyah and said: “In Qatar, we recognized a long-time friend and military partner for peace and stability in the Middle East and a supporter of NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, and here I must note Qatar’s recent highly successful delivery of materials from Hungary to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan is proof of your global reach.

He said Qatar was able to look back on the great military-to-military partnership that has been built, and that he will discuss ways in which “we can further strengthen and develop this partnership to the betterment of both of our nations”.

Source: TOLO News


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