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US envoy travels to Kabul, Doha for intra-Afghan talks

Zalmay Khalilzad, Afghan leaders to discuss 'efforts to get all parties to intra-Afghan negotiations'

Servet Gunerigok   | 04.12.2019
US envoy travels to Kabul, Doha for intra-Afghan talks

WASHINGTON

U.S. Special representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation is traveling to Afghanistan and Qatar for intra-Afghan negotiations, the State Department said Wednesday.

Zalmay Khalilzad departed Tuesday and is currently in Afghanistan where he will meet government representatives and other Afghan leaders.

The U.S. envoy and Afghan leadership will "discuss how best to support accelerated efforts to get all parties to intra-Afghan negotiations," the agency said in a statement.

"In Doha, Ambassador Khalilzad will rejoin talks with the Taliban to discuss steps that could lead to intra-Afghan negotiations and a peaceful settlement of the war, specifically a reduction in violence that leads to a ceasefire," it said.

U.S. President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to Afghanistan last Thursday to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with American troops.

"The Taliban wants to make a deal, and we’re meeting with them," Trump said in a meeting with his Afghan counterpart, President Ashraf Ghani, at Bagram Airfield.

On Friday, Qatar-based Al-Jazeera reported the U.S. and Taliban resumed informal talks and met in Doha to discuss the resumption of formal peace discussions.

Trump declared the peace talks with the Taliban "dead" following an attack in the capital Kabul which killed a dozen people in September, including a U.S. service member.

Following Trump’s move, the Taliban opened new battlefronts across the war-weary nation.

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