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US backs Russia’s positive role in Afghanistan

US backs Russia’s positive role in Afghanistan

Feb 23, 2019 - 09:13

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Regional countries can help bring peace and stability to Afghanistaninfo-icon, believe top Russian and American diplomats.

US special representative Zalmay Khalilzad and Russian President Vladimir Putin's envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov reached the agreement at a meeting in Ankara.

After Friday’s meeting, Khalilzad told Anadolu Agency: “We agreed the region can play an important role in facilitating peace in Afghanistan. We talked about some options how the region could play that role.”

He said:  “We want Russia to play a constructive role. We don’t want to monopolise the diplomacy of peace in Afghanistan. We welcome all efforts that promote peace.”

Afghanistan should become never again a sanctuary for terrorists, like al-Qaeda, Islamic State (Daesh) or other global terrorist outfits, the envoy added.

The two sides conferred on intra-Afghan dialogue, the need for Afghans to appoint a national team includes the government and the need for Talibaninfo-icon to agree with that team on a roadmap for peace.

Khalilzad tweeted: “We also agreed that any final agreement must guarantee that the Afghan soil is never used by international terrorists against any country. Also discussed a potential regional framework to coordinate efforts for peace and deter spoilers.”

The biggest challenge is to start an all-inclusive dialogue that means the Taliban on the one side and the government, political leaders, civil societyinfo-icon and womeninfo-icon on the other side, according to Khalilzad.

While stressing an agreement needed between the Taliban and the government, he said: “We are looking for a formula to set across the table with each other. This is the biggest challenge now.”

About the US presence in Afghanistan, Khalilzad insisted it was aimed at helping the country to stand on its feet and supporting it in the fight against terrorists.

He went on to explain: “We don't want permanently to be based in Afghanistan. With regard to the post-peace government, we would like to have a positive legacy left behind and a good relation with future Afghanistan.”

The special envoy extolled Turkey’s support for the peace process in Afghanistan, saying both the US and Afghans were grateful to Ankara.

“Turkey has done a lot in Afghanistan. We are grateful for Turkey's support,” he told the state-run news agency “The Afghans have a special attachment to Turkey," he added. "They are also grateful for Turkey's role."

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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