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9th round of talks: Khalilzad resumes journey to Doha, Kabul

9th round of talks: Khalilzad resumes journey to Doha, Kabul

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Aug 20, 2019 - 23:46

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok):  US special envoy for peace in Afghanistaninfo-icon Zalmay Khalilzad is due in Doha and Kabul on Tuesday to resume peace talks with Talibaninfo-icon insurgents as part of Washington’s efforts to an end to the conflict after nearly 20 years.

Khalilzad will resume talks with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, “as part of an overall effort to facilitate a peace process that ends the conflict in Afghanistan,” the State Department said in a statement. 

Khalilzad will consult with leaders of the Afghan government in Kabul and encourage negotiations between the two sides, it said.

The envoy on Friday briefed President Donald Trump on the status of negotiations with the Taliban on a US troop pullout and the potential for a political settlement between the warring sides.

Two days later Trump told reporters that the United States was having “very good discussions” with both the Taliban and the Afghan government.

“The conversations are going well. But in the end, it will be about what’s delivered on the ground, whether that’s from the Afghan government, other Afghans that aren’t inside the Afghan government, the Taliban,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday in an interview with CNBC.

“The truth will be in the reality. What really happens on the ground? If we can reduce violence, we’ll create a space where we can withdraw not only American support but NATOinfo-icon forces that are there as well,” Pompeo said.

Khalilzad after holding eight rounds of talks with the Taliban in Doha about ten days ago left for India and then travelled to Germany and Norway before returning to Washington.

A diplomatic source in Qatar told Pajhwok Afghan News that an agreement between the US and the Taliban could possibly been signed later this month.

It is said a week after the agreement between the US and the Taliban, Norway will host intra-Afghan talks between the rebels and the Afghan government.

In this regard, Norway’s special envoy for Afghanistan arrived in Kabul on Tuesday and met with State Minister for Peace Salam Rahimi. The Norwegian envoy said his country was fully prepared to host the intra-Afghan talks.

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