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U.S. Envoy In Kabul For Talks On Afghan Peace Process


Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan, is seen during talks between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives in Doha in September.

The U.S. envoy for the Afghan peace process, Zalmay Khalilzad, was back in Kabul on March 1 for talks with Afghan officials over ways to accelerate the peace process aimed at putting an end to decades of war, before heading to Qatar, where negotiations with Taliban representatives are ongoing.

The State Department said on February 28 that Khalilzad and his team will also travel to regional capitals to continue efforts at finding "a just and durable political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire."

The statement did not provide dates or other details of where the U.S. envoy intended to go.

President Joe Biden is reviewing a February 2020 U.S. deal with the Taliban that is expected to determine whether U.S. and foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan by May 1 in accordance with the agreement.

Khalilzad's trip comes as talks that began in September in the Qatari capital, Doha, between the Afghan government and the Taliban have stalled, with each side accusing the other of violating the deal.

The Taliban has complied with its commitment to halt attacks on U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. But the militants have ramped up attacks on Afghan government forces and refused calls for a cease-fire.

There are also concerns about whether the Taliban can or will cut ties with Al-Qaeda and prevent international terrorists from operating on Afghan soil as stipulated by the deal.

The Taliban has warned of a "never-seen-before" war and is rejecting a possible extension of foreign troops in the country beyond the deadline stipulated in the deal reached with the United States.

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