US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad to visit India for an intra-Afghan talk - TNBCLive

The United States Special  Representative Zalmay Khalilzad is set to visit India among other nations in the region as a part of the process for an intra-Afghan political settlement said the State Department.

On Tuesday, the Department said that “Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad will lead an inter-agency delegation to India, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from January 8-21.”

Hit further said that “he will meet senior government officials in each country to facilitate an intra-Afghan political settlement.”

“The US supports the desire of the Afghan people and the international community for a political settlement that ends the 40-year conflict and ensures Afghanistan never again serves as a platform for international terrorism,” it added.

The move was initiated a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the United States President Donald Trump had a telephonic conversation during which the two leaders have agreed to further strengthen bilateral talks in the year ahead.

On January 2, the conversation between the two leaders took place after President Trump said that India was not doing enough for maintaining stability and peace in Afghanistan.

Mr. Khalilzad’s visit for an intra-Afghan political deal reflects India’s stand that it’s for an “Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled” peace and reconciliation process.

On Tuesday, the statement came even as the Afghan Taliban called off talks with the US officials scheduled in Qatar this week, over an “agenda disagreement”.

Repeatedly, the Taliban has rejected to hold talks on peace with the Afghan government in the presence of the foreign troops in Afghanistan.   

The statement reads that Mr. Khalilzad will continue to coordinate his efforts with Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other Afghan stakeholders to ensure a peace process of intra-Afghan.

The statement further said that “the US goal is to promote dialogue among Afghans about how to end the conflict, and to encourage the parties to come together at the negotiating table to reach a political settlement where every Afghan citizen enjoys equal rights and responsibilities under the rule of law.”

“During his last trip in December, Special Representative Mr. Khalilzad reiterated that the only solution to the conflict is for all parties to sit together and reach an agreement on the political future of Afghanistan with mutual respect and acceptance,” added the statement.

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