The United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who is on a multi-nation trip for his efforts of facilitating intra-Afghan peace talks, has said that he noted the clarification provided by the Pakistani government on Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent statement and added that Afghans have the right to live in peace after a long period of war.
Khan last week reportedly proposed an interim setup for Afghanistan to break the “deadlock” in the Afghan peace process. His remarks, the Pakistani Foreign Affairs Ministry said, were “misinterpreted” and that the comments should not be misinterpreted to imply interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
Khalilzad said in a tweet Friday that he noted Pakistan government statement clarifying Pakistan government’s views on avoiding interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
“Appreciate Pakistan’s and other regional support for Afghan peace process and agree that Afghans have the right to live in peace after a long period of war,” Khalilzad said.
In this trip, the US Special Envoy is traveling to Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Jordan and Qatar from March 25 to April 10, according to the US Department of State.
Khalilzad, meanwhile, said that he had “excellent meetings” with his counterparts at the European Union where they discussed their shared values.
“We talked about our countries’ shared values, and about the meaningful political and social gains in Afghanistan over the last 18 years, especially for women and children, which must be prioritized in the peace process,” Khalilzad said.
On March 26, Federica Maria Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, visited Kabul where she met Afghan leaders and vowed the EU’s full support to the peace process as well as the upcoming elections.
Khalilzad said in a tweet on Friday that he appreciates Mogherini’s thoughts for Afghans concerned about potential overlap in timing of elections and the Afghan peace process.
“Enter negotiations as if there were no elections, united as a country, and do elections as if there were no negotiations,” Mogherini said at a press conference with President Ghani in Kabul on March 26.
In his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday, Khalilzad briefed the NATO allies on the Afghan peace talks.
“NATO and US forces serve shoulder-to-shoulder in Afghanistan. Our shared goal is to reach a peace agreement worthy of the sacrifices made over decades of war. Together we’re committed to achieving genuine intra-Afghan dialogue on a political settlement that ends the conflict,” Khalilzad said.
According to the US Department of State, the Special Representative will consult with the Afghan government and other Afghans about the status of US talks with the Taliban, encourage efforts to form an inclusive negotiating team, and discuss next steps in intra-Afghan discussions and negotiations.