The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and commander of the U.S. and NATO Resolute Support Gen. Scott Miller met President Ashraf Ghani in Doha on Monday evening, where they discussed the Afghan peace talks.
Both sides stressed on the importance of the talks and the opportunity for ending the war to bring an enduring peace, the Presidential Palace said, adding that concern was expressed over the increase of Taliban violence.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Khalilzad said they “affirmed ongoing U.S. support to Afghanistan, our partnership, and a peace process meant to produce a political settlement and an end to decades of war.”
“I told the president Afghans should not let the opportunity for peace to slip away. He said he supports the Islamic Republic negotiators doing their work [for] as long as it takes. I said I’m encouraged by what I heard from all sides, including the two teams’ commitment to peace,” Khalilad said.
The U.S. supports an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process and remains ready to assist, the envoy said. “We call on all nations, especially the neighbours and other key players, to do the same.”
On the issue of violence, Khalilzad said, “Violence is too high, and too many Afghans are dying”
“We are pressing for a significant reduction in violence that will lead to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.”
He expanded that a reduction in violence “will save lives, increase trust, broaden support for peace; and help the negotiating teams make progress at a faster pace.”
“This is what the Afghan people want. And the United States stands with them.”
Khalilzad met the Taliban
Taliban spokesperson Naeem Wardak said that Khalilzad and Gen. Miller met with the Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and the peace delegation on Monday.
They discussed the implementation of the Doha agreement, and called it “significant for the resolution of Afghanistan issue.”
They also discussed the steps taken after the signing of the agreement in February and called “proceeding according to the text and content of the agreement as necessary for the better implementation of it,” Wardak said.