CABUL (Reuters) – US Special Envoy to Afghanistan hopes to introduce a peace talks with Taliban revolt in April 2019,…
CABUL (Reuters) – US Special Envoy to Afghanistan hopes to introduce a peace talks with Taliban revolt in April 2019, local media reported on Sunday.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani (R) and the United States Special Envoy for Peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, (L) meet in Kabul, Afghanistan on November 1
0, 2018. Presidential Palace / Handout via REUTERS
Zalmay Khalilzad in Kabul to leading talks between the United States, the Taliban and the Afghan government, told reporters that he hopes “a peace agreement will be reached before April 20 next year” when Afghanistan plans to hold a presidential election.
The Afghan-born American diplomat said he was “cautious optimistic” about peace talks.
Khalilzad, ruled by US President Donald Trump’s government to hold direct talks with the Taliban, met the leaders of the hard-Islamic group in Qatar last month to find ways to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan.
On Sunday, Khalilzad said that the final relationship in the conversation would be “peace and a successful Afghanistan, one that does not pose a threat to itself and to the international community.” Taliban spokesman was not immediately available for comments, but two leading Taliban leaders spoke on terms of anonymity, saying the Taliban leaders will present a new set of claims to Khalilzad.
The rebels who fought to expel foreign forces and defeat the Western-backed Afghan government claimed last month that Khalilzad contained a timeline for the withdrawal of US troops and the release of senior Taliban from prisons.
In October, Pakistan released one of the foundations of the Taliban and another Supreme Commander.
No date has been announced for another round of talks, but Khalilzad said that the Taliban could “get further changes in their team of negotiators.”
Khalilzad is trying to gather a bargaining team of influential Afghans to assure the US-backed Kabul government that it will not be closed by a peace process.
Although the Trump administration and the Afghan President Ashraf Ghan’s government make efforts to reach a solution with the Taliban, the uprisings have continued their attacks on government forces and caused hundreds of victims in recent weeks in attacks over Afghanistan.
On Saturday, US Joint Chiefs President General Joseph Dunford said: “We used the term deadlock a year ago and, relatively speaking, it has not changed much, but … we believe that the Taliban know that they must at one time be reconciled.”  Further reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi, Jibran Ahmed in Peshawar, Idrees Ali in Washington DC, Editing Himani Sarkar; Editing Janet Lawrence