US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has embarked on a new multi-nation trip on Afghan peace in which he will visit Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia and the UK from April 21 to May 11, the US Department of State said in a statement on Monday.
This would be the US Special Envoy’s sixth visit to Kabul on Afghan peace since last November.
Last time, Khalilzad visited Kabul late in March. According to the US Embassy in Kabul Khalilzad had “productive” talks with President Ghani on accelerating a settlement process, reducing violence across Afghanistan, and supporting Afghan security forces if violence continues.
The US Department of State said in a statement that the trip is part of the overall effort to facilitate a political settlement that ends the conflict in Afghanistan.
“In Kabul, Ambassador Khalilzad will consult with the Afghan government and other Afghans to encourage all parties to work towards intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations to determine a final peace settlement,” the statement said.
The statement added that “in London, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi, he will work to build international support for the Afghan peace process to help ensure that any peace settlement reached will be sustainable”.
“In Doha, he (Khalilzad) will continue to press forward on negotiations with the Taliban to reach a consensus on core national security issues, and urge their participation in an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue,” the statement concluded.
His trip comes as efforts have been expedited for Afghan peace at national and international levels.
Khalilzad's last meeting with the Taliban was held in Qatar in mid-March which ended after 16 days where the two sides agreed in draft on foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan and counterterrorism assurances.