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Taliban Discussed Withdrawal of Foreign Forces with Khalizad: Hekmatyar

(Last Updated On: November 2, 2018)

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hezb-e-Islami party says Taliban representatives have discussed the foreign forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan in their recent meeting with the U.S. special envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad.

“The withdrawal of foreign military forces has been one of the issues as the Taliban discussed it with Zalmay Khalilzad, but the U.S. has asked the Taliban to create the situation so that the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan would not be a need anymore,” Hekmatyar told Ariana News.

Hekmatyar stressed that it is time for the Taliban to end the war and make peace so that the foreign military forces leave Afghanistan.

“Now the ball is in Taliban’s hand, they should make way for foreign troops to leave Afghanistan,” he said, adding that if the Taliban end the war, the foreign military will pull off.

The leader of Hezb-e-Islami, meanwhile, said that they have direct and indirect contacts with the Taliban leadership and that a timeline for withdrawal of foreign forces have been the issue as they are constantly discussing. He stressed that the Taliban not willing to talk with the Afghan government.

 “Nothing is new and serious in the meeting between the Taliban and Mr. Zalilzad so far; a preliminary talks but this is a good progress,” Hekmatyar said.

The US’s top diplomat for Afghanistan has met with a Taliban delegation in Qatar, following his 10-day trip to regional countries including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

Taliban said that their representatives discussed the “end of occupation” and “a peaceful solution in Afghanistan” in their meeting with Khalilzad.

Following the issue, a member of the High Peace Council Qazi Amin Weqad said that they are serious for talks between the government and the Taliban,

“We welcome the Taliban’s move to introduce their representatives for peace talks. This is a progress,” he said.

This comes as recently, the Taliban have appointed five of their members as representatives for political office in Qatar, following the U.S. diplomat Khalilzad’s call on the armed group to come up with an authorized team of negotiators for peace talks.

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