The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad who is on a multi-nation trip for his efforts of facilitating intra-Afghan peace talks, says Afghans have the right to leave in peace after decades of war in their country.
Last week, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan reportedly proposed an interim setup for Afghanistan as part of the Afghan peace process. His remarks sparked a strong reaction of the Afghan government and the international community including the United States.
Later, the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, Imran Khan’s remarks were “misinterpreted” and that the comments should not be misinterpreted to imply interference in internal affairs of Afghanistan.
Khalilzad in a tweet on Friday said that he noted the government of Pakistan statement “clarifying Pakistan government’s views on avoiding interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs”.
“Appreciate Pakistan’s and other regional support for Afghan Peace Process and agree that Afghans have the right to live in peace after a long period of war,” Khalilzad said.
According to the U.S. State Department, in his latest round of trip, Khalilzad will visit the United Kingdom, Belgium, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Jordan and Qatar from March 25 to April 10, as part of the efforts to facilitate a peace process to facilitate “inclusive” intra-Afghan negotiations.
Khalilzad on Friday met with his counterparts at the European Union (EU), where he talked about the last 18 years in achievements in Afghanistan which according to him should be prioritized in the ongoing peace talks.
“Excellent meetings today with my counterparts at the EU. We talked about our countries’ shared values, and about the meaningful political & social gains in Afghanistan over the last 18 years, especially for women & children, which must be prioritized in the peace process,” Khalilzad tweeted.
Recently, Federica Maria Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, visited Kabul where he met the Afghan government leaders and vowed the European Union’s continued support to the peace process and the upcoming elections.
“I particularly appreciated Federica Mogherini thoughts for Afghans concerned about potential overlap in timing of elections and the Afghan Peace Process: “Enter negotiations as if there were no elections, united as a country, and do elections as if there were no negotiations.” Khalilzad tweeted.
In his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday, Khalilzad also brief NATO allies on Afghan peace efforts.
“NATO & US forces serve shoulder-to-shoulder in Afghanistan. Our shared goal is to reach a peace agreement worthy of the sacrifices made over decades of war. Together we’re committed to achieving genuine intra-Afghan dialogue on a political settlement that ends the conflict,” Khalilzad tweeted.
In Kabul, Khalilzad will consult with the Afghan government and politicians regarding the status of the U.S. talks with the Taliban and encourage efforts to form an “inclusive” negotiating team, as well as discuss next steps in intra-Afghan dialogue, according to the U.S. State Department.