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Khalilzad to visit Afghanistan to finalise US-Taliban peace deal possibly by Sept 1

ANI | July 20, 2019 01:30 PM
Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation (File photo)

New Delhi [India], July 20 (ANI): US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad will travel to Afghanistan on Sunday to finalise US-Taliban peace agreement possibly by September 1 that would pave way for ending two decades of insurgency in the war-torn country, government sources said on Saturday.

Khalilzad on Friday had held talks with Indian Ambassador to US Harsh Vardhan Shringla on the matter and said that he considers India to be an important partner in this endeavour, and the one that can add value to the process.

The envoy expressed optimism about the timely outcome of the peace process, albeit added that some ground was yet to be covered, especially on the peace agreement between the rival factions in Afghanistan, sources added.

The Taliban and the US are getting closer to a deal centered around the latter's promise to withdraw its troops from the war-torn country. Khalilzad had recently concluded the seventh round of talks with the Taliban in Doha, and termed them as "most productive".

The Taliban have consistently refused to hold direct talks with President Ashraf Ghani's government, denouncing it as a puppet administration. An earlier round of intra-Afghan talks, which were to be held in April, was called off after the Taliban did not agree on the list of Kabul officials who were supposed to attend the peace talks.

The group, however, recently agreed to hold talks with a delegation of 50 members from the Afghan political elites, civil society members, youths and journalists in Qatar's capital city of Doha. (ANI)

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