Khalilzad to meet Taliban leaders in Doha

Zalmay Khalilzad. (Photo: Twitter/@US4AfghanPeace)

Washington/Kabul, June 29 (IANS) The US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is set to meet Taliban leaders in Doha to discuss the intra-Afghan talks, the State Department said in a statement.

Khalilzad on Sunday departed for Doha, Islamabad, and Tashkent, the statement said, adding that “at all three locations, the Ambassador will urge support for all Afghans to meet their remaining commitments ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations, specifically reduced violence and timely prisoner releases”, reports TOLO News.

It added that Khalilzad has been joined by US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Adam Boehler and his team.

“Afghan peace, economic growth, and regional connectivity are closely linked and mutually supportive,” the statement said, adding that “the delegation will explore investment opportunities and partnerships in a range of sectors to advance the economic recovery of Afghanistan and support sustained peace and stability in the region”.

“Due to the challenges of travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador Khalilzad, CEO Boehler, and their delegation will also conduct meetings with Afghan officials throughout the trip remotely via video.”

As violence continued across the country, President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday called on the Taliban to end the violence and instead come forward to start the intra-Afghan talks.

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