Kabul, March 1: US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul and held a meeting with Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, to discuss the Afghan peace process.
“As always pleased to meet HE Zalmay Khalilzad and his accompanying delegation. We discussed the peace process, talks in Doha, the US current review and the steps forward. We reiterated our call for an immediate end to violence and the acceleration of the peace talks,” Abdullah tweeted.
This comes hours after US State Department announced the resumption of talks with the Taliban.
“Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and his team will travel to Kabul, Doha and additional regional capitals,” the US State Department had said in a statement on Sunday.
“He (Khalilzad) will resume discussions on the way ahead with the Islamic Republic and Afghan leaders, Taliban representatives and regional countries whose interests are best served by the achievement of just and durable political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” the release added.
This will be Khalilzad’s first trip since US President Joe Biden took office. He is also expected to visit Islamabad and New Delhi as indicated in the release.
The resumption of dialogue with the Taliban under Joe Biden’s administration clearly shows that the US is continuing its Afghan policy on the lines undertaken by former president Donald Trump.
India, which has completed huge developmental and infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, will be watching the US move closely.
India’s position is clear that any government formation in Kabul should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.