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US Envoy Lands in Doha, Talks to Resume Soon: Sources

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has arrived in Doha where he will resume the peace talks with the Taliban negotiators, sources familiar with the Doha talks said on Friday.

An initial round of talks was called off three months ago by US President Donald Trump after a Taliban attack in Kabul killed an American soldier.

This comes after the US State Department on Wednesday said that Khalilzad “will rejoin the talks with the Taliban in Doha to discuss steps that could lead to intra-Afghan negotiations and a peaceful settlement to the ongoing conflict in the country.”

During his two days' stay in Kabul, the veteran diplomat held talks with the top Afghan government officials and prominent politicians including former president Hamid Karzai.

After finalizing an agreement with the US, the Taliban will commit to reducing the level of violence, said the source.

 “Discussions were held on three topics, first the US and the Taliban will resume their direct talks, and they will try to focus on the issue of reduction of violence and the intra-Afghan negotiations,” said Shahzada Massoud, former advisor to Hamid Karzai.

During the Kabul trip Khalilzad urged Kabul to step up efforts to create an inclusive delegation.

But Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hizb-e-Islami, has said that the Afghan government remains one of the major obstructions in the way of peace.

“The only factor that obstructs the peace, the one who wants the continuation of war and foresees that its survival requires continuation of war is the present government,” said Hekmatyar.

“If someone thinks that the government is a hurdle on the way of peace, this unawareness shows the poor understanding of the individual or groups who say it,” said Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani. 

US Envoy Lands in Doha, Talks to Resume Soon: Sources

Khalilzad urged Kabul to step up efforts to create an inclusive delegation.

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The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has arrived in Doha where he will resume the peace talks with the Taliban negotiators, sources familiar with the Doha talks said on Friday.

An initial round of talks was called off three months ago by US President Donald Trump after a Taliban attack in Kabul killed an American soldier.

This comes after the US State Department on Wednesday said that Khalilzad “will rejoin the talks with the Taliban in Doha to discuss steps that could lead to intra-Afghan negotiations and a peaceful settlement to the ongoing conflict in the country.”

During his two days' stay in Kabul, the veteran diplomat held talks with the top Afghan government officials and prominent politicians including former president Hamid Karzai.

After finalizing an agreement with the US, the Taliban will commit to reducing the level of violence, said the source.

 “Discussions were held on three topics, first the US and the Taliban will resume their direct talks, and they will try to focus on the issue of reduction of violence and the intra-Afghan negotiations,” said Shahzada Massoud, former advisor to Hamid Karzai.

During the Kabul trip Khalilzad urged Kabul to step up efforts to create an inclusive delegation.

But Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hizb-e-Islami, has said that the Afghan government remains one of the major obstructions in the way of peace.

“The only factor that obstructs the peace, the one who wants the continuation of war and foresees that its survival requires continuation of war is the present government,” said Hekmatyar.

“If someone thinks that the government is a hurdle on the way of peace, this unawareness shows the poor understanding of the individual or groups who say it,” said Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani. 

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