Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, April 25th, 2019

US Peace Envoy Vows to Take Afghan Government on Board

US Peace Envoy Vows to Take Afghan Government on Board

Zalmay Khalilzad says intra-Afghan dialogue should be inclusive with representation from Afghan government
KABUL - In a significant development, the visiting top U.S. peace envoy on Tuesday acknowledged the importance of taking Afghan government on board in the peace process.
Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, reached Kabul on late Sunday as part of his efforts to facilitate dialogue and negotiations for peace in the war-ravaged country.
After a series of meetings with top Afghan officials -- including President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, CEO Abdullah Abdullah and other key figures -- Khalilzad underlined comprehensive and intra-Afghan dialogue.
“Good to speak today with @HekmatKarzai & @DrOmarZakhilwal about the #AfghanPeaceProcess. We agree that intra-Afghan dialogue should be comprehensive and inclusive with representatives from the #Afghan government, women, young people, and civil society”, he tweeted after one such meeting.
“Productive meeting and lunch with Chief Executive Abdullah @afgexecutive and Foreign Minister @SalahRabbani. We discussed how the international community can best support them in an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned #AfghanPeaceProcess”, read another of his tweet in this connection.
Office of President Ghani has noted in a brief statement that the two sides discussed the ongoing peace efforts. “These discussions will continue between the two sides. As discussions progress, more details will be shared with the Afghan public.”
Last month, in a clear sign of rift, the U.S. Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale summoned Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib to reject the public comments criticizing the U.S. approach to reconciliation in Afghanistan.
Mohib had accused Washington's top man for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, for deliberately undermining Afghan government in the proposed peace talks.
The Taliban and the U.S. said after a marathon round of talks in Qatar in February that a draft agreement has been reached for the eventual withdrawal of troops and guarantees Afghanistan would not be allowed to turn into hub of terrorism.
Kabul is insisting the final peace deal should be struck by involving the government, an idea so far opposed by the Taliban. (AA)