US Special Representativ for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has called on both Afghan government and the Taliban group to accelerate their peace efforts to end country’s long war.
“Afghans are coming together and taking steps to make progress toward peace. The Afghan people have been yearning for peace. The steps taken in recent days are positive and hopeful,” Khalilzad said.
Khalilzad welcomed the first meeting of the Reconciliation Council, saying he is happy to see the Afghanistan High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) become operational today with its first Leadership Committee meeting.
“The gathering of political leaders across the political spectrum is an important step,” he asserted.
“This Committee will be an authoritative body for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as it negotiates the terms of a peace agreement, power-sharing, and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire with the Taliban,” he said.
“Having completed the rules and procedures, the Islamic Republic and Taliban teams are now in the next phase of negotiations, having started with their first meeting on the agenda in Doha,” Khalilzad added.