U.S. Envoy Briefs Afghan Leaders On Peace Effort After Meeting Taliban | Security Risks Asia Made with Humane Club

U.S. Envoy Briefs Afghan Leaders On Peace Effort After Meeting Taliban

Published Oct 14, 2018
Updated Jul 01, 2020

The U.S. envoy on an Afghanistan peace initiative has met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul, a day after he held talks in Qatar with Taliban leaders.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the Afghan-born U.S. adviser and former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, briefed Ghani and Abdullah on October 13 about his meetings with senior ministers and top diplomats in four countries as part of a diplomatic mission aimed at bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table.

Since Khalilzad last visited Kabul on October 4, his tour has taken him to Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

A statement sent to journalists on October 13 by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Khalilzad met Taliban representatives on October 12 in Qatar’s capital, Doha, to discuss ending the Afghan conflict.

Mujahid said the Taliban representatives told Khalilzad that the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan was a “big obstacle” to peace and that both sides “agreed to continue such meetings.”

Another senior Taliban member said the U.S. envoy had asked the Taliban leadership to declare a ceasefire in Afghanistan for six months in time for the planned October 20 parliamentary elections.

“Both sides discussed prospects for peace, and the U.S presence in Afghanistan,” another Taliban official said.

The Taliban in exchange are seeking the release of their fighters from Afghan jails and the removal of foreign troops currently aiding Afghan security forces.

Another senior Taliban member said the U.S. envoy had asked the Taliban leadership to declare a ceasefire in Afghanistan for six months in time for the planned October 20 parliamentary elections.

“Both sides discussed prospects for peace, and the U.S presence in Afghanistan,” another Taliban official said.

The Taliban in exchange are seeking the release of their fighters from Afghan jails and the removal of foreign troops currently aiding Afghan security forces.

“Neither side agreed to accept the other’s demands immediately, but they agreed to meet again and find a solution to the conflict,” said a Taliban official who asked not to be identified.

“Neither side agreed to accept the other’s demands immediately, but they agreed to meet again and find a solution to the conflict,” said a Taliban official who asked not to be identified.

A statement about Khalilzad’s diplomatic tour released by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul did not confirm his meeting with the Taliban.

“The United States shares the aspirations of all Afghans for a peaceful Afghanistan where all Afghans see themselves included. All citizens of Afghanistan must be a part of this reconciliation process,” Khalilzad said, according to the embassy statement at the end of his four-nation tour.

Khalilzad was appointed in September as President Donald Trump’s special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation as part of renewed efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

A statement from the Afghan president’s office on October 13 said Khalilzad told Ghani and Abdullah that the United States was “ready to do anything to help with the peace process,” but insisted the process should be led by the Afghan government.

Taliban Statement

The negotiation team of the Political Office of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – comprising the head of the Political Office the respected Al Haj Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanikzai, deputy of Political Office the respected Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi and members of the Political Office Sheikh Shahabuddin Delawar, Qari Deen Muhammad Hanif, Al Haj Muhammad Zahid Ahmadzai and Muhammad Sohail Shaheen – met with the US negotiation team headed the US special representative for Afghanistan, Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, on 12th October 2018 in Doha where they held a discussion about ending occupation and working towards finding a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict. The representatives of the Islamic Emirate identified presence of foreign forces as the greatest obstacle obstructing true peace and solving problems, adding that Afghanistan is an Islamic country and has its own Islamic values and culture. Keeping that in mind, efforts must be made towards a true and intra-Afghan solution. At the end both sides agreed to continue holding meetings in the future.

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