U.S. Special Representative on the Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad held talks in Islamabad on Tuesday with senior Pakistani officials, the foreign office said, days after visiting Kabul to try to resume talks with the Taliban.
Khalilzad met with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi who reiterated his country’s efforts for achieving peace in Afghanistan, foreign office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said on social network Twitter.
The U.S. diplomat also met with Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua for delegation level talks.
“Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, and Foreign Secretary led their delegations for talks between the U.S. and Pakistan. The delegations comprised of security, defense, and diplomatic officials from both sides,” Faisal tweeted.
Khalilzad is set to visit Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar after leaving Islamabad as part of a 10-day journey in a bid to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.
“He [Khalilzad] will travel the regional countries and we are hopeful that his efforts lead into ensuring peace,” said Mujib Rahman Rahimi, Spokesman of Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Office.
Unconfirmed reports suggest, the U.S. advisor on Afghanistan has met the Taliban representatives in Dubai, but a former member of the Taliban Sayed Akbar Agha told Ariana News that in the current situation, Taliban were not expected to meet the U.S. representative.
“We don’t think that the Taliban have met him [Khalizad], and the Taliban won’t meet him because the Taliban want to make peace with the Afghan government,” said Akbar Agha.
This comes days after Khalilzad called on the Afghan government and the Taliban to come up with authorized team of negotiators for peace talks.