US Special Envoy Khalilzad Travels To Afghanistan, Qatar

Kabul: A US delegation led by Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday departed for Kabul, Doha and the region.

A US inter-agency delegation, including the National Security Council, Department of Defense, and USAID members were part of the delegation, said the media note of the US Department of State.

In Kabul, the delegation will meet with the Afghanistan government, other political leaders, and civil society representatives, including women’s groups, to hear their views on the peace process. The delegation will underscore US’ support for Afghanistan’s development and a political settlement that will end the war.

In Doha, Ambassador Khalilzad will continue to encourage both sides to make tangible progress towards a political settlement that protects the gains of the last two decades. Ambassador Khalilzad will also meet with leaders from regional countries to discuss the Afghanistan peace process and the potential for increased regional trade, commerce, and development that peace might bring. In fact, even Debora Lyons, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, traveled to Qatar to discuss with representatives of the Taliban and the Afghan government in Qatar the peace process, reducing violence and preventing civilian casualties.

The Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) tweeted that Lyons reiterated her shared commitment to protecting UN personnel in helping millions of vulnerable Afghans. Mohammad Naeem, a spokesperson for the Taliban’s political office in Doha, told RFE / RL that Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the deputy head of the Taliban’s political office, and his team had met with the head of UNAMA.

“During the meeting, the delegation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan reaffirmed its commitment to the Afghan peace process and reassured the security and safety of all UN staff and diplomats in general in Afghanistan,” Naeem said.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, has said that Central Asian states play key role in stability in Afghanistan. In a virtual meeting with Kazakh President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Guterres said on Saturday that the UN and Central Asia would cooperatively work to help achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The meeting also discussed the joint battle against the pandemic, climate exchange and security in the region. Tokayev said that his country would be ready to assist Afghanistan by taking active part in the international efforts for peace and security in the war-hit country.

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