US Peace Envoy in Pakistan After Suspending Talks With Afghan Taliban

Saturday, 14 December 2019 00:03 WIB



America's chief negotiator for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, visited Pakistan on Friday, a day after he briefly suspended peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar in retaliation to this week's attack by the insurgent group on the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan.

Khalilzad met Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad and briefed him on the U.S.-Taliban discussions in the Qatari capital of Doha, said a Pakistani statement.

“We hope the U.S.-Taliban negotiations will resume soon,” Qureshi was quoted as saying, apparently in reference to the disrupted talks that had only recently restarted.

Qureshi reaffirmed Pakistan's resolve to continue to play its “facilitating" role in the Afghan peace process and emphasized again the conflict in the neighboring country had no military solution.

Khalilzad later met with Pakistani military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the neighboring city of Rawalpindi where the army is headquartered. “Regional security situation with particular reference to (the) ongoing Afghan reconciliation process was discussed,” the army spokesman said.

Taliban leaders maintain close contacts with Islamabad, and their families also live in Pakistan among nearly three million Afghan refugees the country still hosts.

Wednesday's suicide car bomb-and-gun attack on the Bagram base mostly caused Afghan civilian casualties in nearby civilian localities and did not harm U.S. and NATO forces.

The Taliban swiftly took credit for staging the assault.

Source : VOA


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