U.S. Envoy Meets Taliban In Push for Afghan Peace Talks

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 13, 2018

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.

"Both sides spoke (about) an end to the occupation and peaceful solution to the Afghan issue".

Taliban said in the statement that the head of the Qatar political office Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, Mawalwi Salam Hanafi, Shuhabuddin Delawar, Qari Deen Moh.

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

In exchange, the Taliban want the Afghan government to release fighters from jails across the country and the swift removal of foreign forces fighting alongside Afghan troops.

This is the second meeting of a top United States official with the Taliban.

According to their statement the group's delegation stressed the need for a "real and Afghan-inclusive solution" and that the two sides agreed to continue the meetings in the future.

Khalilzad was appointed last month, as President Donald Trump's administration launched fresh efforts to hold peace talks with the Taliban. A Taliban official who was part of the four-person delegation to that meeting said it produced "very positive signals".

A spokesman for the USA embassy in Kabul declined to comment on the Taliban statement.

The High Peace Council meanwhile said the authority welcomes efforts by the U.S. envoy for Afghanistan's peace process.

Last week the Taliban demanded a complete withdrawal of foreign forces as the only solution to end the war that began with the 2001 ousting of the former Taliban government by US -led forces after it refused to hand over Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

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