US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad resumed his trip to Qatar and Afghanistan, the US department of State said in a statement on Tuesday.
In Doha, Ambassador Khalilzad will resume talks with the Taliban as part of an overall effort to facilitate a peace process that ends the conflict in Afghanistan, the statement said.
The statement added that in Kabul, Mr. Khalilzad will consult with the leadership of the Afghan government on the peace process and encourage full preparation for intra-Afghan negotiations.
The US and Taliban representatives have been negotiating since October 12, 2018 in Doha, capital of Qatar to strike a peace deal and end the 18 years' war in the country.
Both sides hope to finalize a peace deal after eight rounds of the peace talks in Doha and UAE.
On Tuesday, the US Secretary of State of Mike Pompeo has said that the United States is trying to reduce American casualties in Afghanistan and the cost of the war as violence continues to grip the country despite a growing hope for a potential peace agreement between the US and the Taliban.
Mr. Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News that the US is also committed to preventing Afghanistan’s territory from being used against the US.
“The mission the president gave us to do two things, to see if we can reduce our cost which has been tens and tens of billions of dollars a year in Afghanistan and we lose the lives of American young men and women every year to reduce that risk, but at the same time, ensure that we maintain a posture that can reduce the risk that there is an attack again from Afghanistan to our homeland,” Mr. Pompeo said.
When asked about the rumors about the US forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Mr. Pompeo said that any decision regarding the issue will be conditions-based.
“Those twin goals which the president set out for my team and for the Department of Defense, we are working towards them. I am confident that we can achieve them,” Mr. Pompeo said. “Any reduction that we make will be based on conditions on the ground and will be consistent with achieving those two goals on behalf of the president and on behalf of American people.”