The US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has held find rounds of talks with the Taliban on Afghan peace, says that agreeing on a ceasefire is the “quickest” way to prevent casualties and that he will continue to push Taliban senior representative to allow their representatives to come to the table of negotiations to discuss this matter.
“The quickest way to prevent casualties is to agree to a ceasefire. Taliban senior leadership should allow their representatives to come to the table and discuss. I will continue to press the case,” Khalilzad said in a tweet on Monday.
Khalilzad said that the reason that the US entered the peace talks was that “more war is not the answer”.
“The US entered peace talks because more war is not the answer. During talks, I’ve proposed ways to reduce violence. By refusing to work with us to end the killing, the Talibs are prolonging it. Let Afghan people judge whether Talib statements encouraging more violence is way forward,” he added in a tweet.
Khalilzad said the Afghan people deserve and want a comprehensive ceasefire and negotiations leading to a lasting peace. “The US stands with them,” he says.
The US envoy said that the United States did not impose the war which he says has gripped Afghanistan for decades and has claimed tens of thousands of “innocent lives”.
“We did not impose this war. Afghanistan has been at war for decades, at times with each other. Tens of thousands of innocent civilians have died. Rather than another season of fighting, Afghans are demanding a new way forward,” he added in a tweet.
Khalilzad visited Kabul two times earlier this month in which he held talks with Afghan leaders and politicians as well as civil society members, the Afghan youth and tribal elders where he discussed with them the way forward toward a peaceful Afghanistan.
In their last meeting with Taliban in Doha in mid-March, the US negotiators and Taliban members agreed in draft on key issues under debate, including counterterrorism efforts and foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Afghan politicians and probably a government delegation are all set to attend a meeting with the Taliban in Doha later this week where they will exchange views on the peace process.