The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who arrived in Kabul on Sunday evening, held meetings with Afghan officials and members of the civil society on Monday and discussed the ongoing efforts for peace and the urgency of making progress in intra-Afghan talks.
His first meeting was with President Ghani’s Special Envoy Umer Daudzai and Ghani's Chief of Staff Abdul Salam Rahimi. “We discussed the urgency of making progress on intra-Afghan dialogue,” he said.
Khalilzad also met with Kabul and provincial representatives of the Afghan Women’s Network. “While Afghans alone will decide the composition of their delegation for talks, women must be at the table during all negotiations about peace and Afghanistan’s future,” he said.
Meanwhile, the US special envoy said in a tweet that he had a “productive meeting” with Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and Acting Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani. “We discussed how the international community can best support them in an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process,” he said.
He also met former Jihadi leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf and discussed the Afghan peace process, including next steps on intra-Afghan dialogue and the formation of an inclusive negotiating team. “He (Sayyaf) emphasized that all non-Talib Afghan leaders including the government must be on the same page on peace,” Khalilzad said.
Khalilzad, meanwhile, met with President Ghani and discussed the ongoing efforts for peace.
President Ghani’s spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said the discussions will continue between the two sides and that more details will be shared with the people as they make progress.
Meanwhile, Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish said in a tweet on Tuesday that “all non-Talib Afghan leaders” including government should be on the same page about peace and that intra-Afghan talks should include representatives of government, women, youth, and the civil society.
It is Khalilzad’s fourth visit to Kabul since last September when he was appointed as the US special envoy for peace.
Last month, he wrapped up 16-day talks with Taliban members in Qatar where they agreed in draft on US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan and counter-terrorism assurances. But according to Khalilzad, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
In his last visit to Kabul in February, Khalilzad called on the Afghan government to form an all-inclusive team for the peace talks.
On Saturday, March 30, President Ashraf Ghani met prominent political leaders, inducing Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and former President Hamid Karzai, to reach a unified stance on the peace process, according to a statement by the Presidential Palace.
The statement said that He said that to reach a unified stance on the peace process, the meetings will continue with other politicians and representatives of different layers of the society.