Khalilzad: No Legitimate Reasons For Delaying Intra-Afghan Talks

The U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, said there was “no legitimate reason” for delaying the intra-Afghan peace negotiations with the Taliban.

In a series of tweets on Friday, the U.S. envoy condemned the killing of Abdul Baqi Amin, a peace activist, in a targeted explosion, and called the perpetrators “spoilers who seek to delay and derail Afghan peace.”

“Afghanistan lost Dr. Abdul Baqi Amin, a scholar with immense insights and an activist with an unshakable commitment to peace. His death at the hands of spoilers who seek to delay and derail Afghan peace is tragic,” he wrote.

“We condemn this terrorist act and offer our condolences to his family, friends and the Afghan people who yearn for peace. The right tribute to Dr. Amin is for all sides to reduce violence and immediately start intra-Afghan negotiations.”

The talks between the Afghan government’s peace negotiating team and the Taliban’s Qatar-based members were supposed to start last week but were postponed due to problems in the prisoner exchange process.

The government said they will release 320 Taliban prisoners, but were waiting for the militant group to release the 22 Afghan pilots and commandos held by them.

The Taliban insists that they have completed their part of the bargain as stated in the Doha Agreement signed with the U.S.

The prisoner release process has hit a wall while creating obstacles, with both sides insisting on the other to release all the detainees.

This has delayed the intra-Afghan talks several times.

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Latest from Newsfeed; Saturday, August 22 2020