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Khalilzad Briefs Ghani On His Regional Visit

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    Posted: 13-Oct-2018 at 3:27pm
Khalilzad Briefs Ghani On His Regional Visit
Khalilzad Briefs Ghani On His Regional Visit

Returning to Kabul after visiting four other countries in the region, the US special envoy assured Ghani Washington will work with Afghanistan in its quest for peace

President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday met with the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad who briefed the president on his visit to regional countries this past week, and said the US is ready to help Afghanistan with the peace process, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.

The meeting was held at the Presidential Palace in the presence of Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish and CEO Abdullah Abdullah. Khalilzad said the US will continue its efforts with the Afghan peace process alongside the leadership of the Afghan government, the statement said.

Ghani thanked Khalilzad for his briefing and for his efforts and said that “we welcome any efforts to bring lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

However, the statement did not provide further details about the meeting.

On Friday, Khalilzad met with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, while in Doha. 

The two officials discussed ways of achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan and Qatar’s role in the peace process in the country, The Peninsula Qatar reported. 

Khalilzad returned to Kabul on Saturday after his first visit last Sunday where he met with a wide range of stakeholders.

The US Embassy in Kabul said in a statement after his initial visit that Khalilzad met with President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, as well as representatives of a variety of political groups, key civil society organizations including the High Peace Council, and Afghan media. 

In his meetings, Khalilzad asked for cooperation from all sides to bring an end to the conflict and called on the parties to facilitate dialogue by forming inclusive negotiating teams. 

Recalling the sacrifices of the Afghan people over many years of war, Khalilzad said: “We, in cooperation with the Afghan people and government, want to make a peaceful Afghanistan where all Afghans see themselves included.” 

Khalilzad’s 11-day trip has included meetings with officials in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

This comes as Taliban in a statement today confirmed that their representatives have met with U.S. delegation led by Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar and talked about the “end of occupation” and “a peaceful solution in Afghanistan.”

The group in the statement which was released on Saturday said that the head of the Qatar political office Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai and other members of the office including Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi, Shahabuddin Delawar, Qari Deen Mohammad Hanif, Mohammad Zahed Ahmadzai and Mohammad Sohail Shaheen were at the meeting.

According to the statement, the Taliban representatives considered the presence of foreign forces is an “obstacle” in the process of bringing “real” peace in Afghanistan.

The statement added that the Taliban representatives stressed the need for a “real and Afghan-inclusive solution.” The two sides agreed to continue the meetings in the future.

Edited by MateenK - 13-Oct-2018 at 3:34pm
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