US proposes high-level meeting between Afghan authorities and Taliban

According to Al Jazeera television channel, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad also suggested holding a regional conference on the peace process in the country

The United States has proposed holding a meeting between representatives of the Afghan government and the radical Taliban at a higher level than the level of inter-Afghan negotiations in Doha. This was announced in Kabul by the US Special Representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad.

Al Jazeera television reported on Tuesday, citing a senior Afghan government official, “Khalilzad made a proposal to hold a meeting at a higher level between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban.” In addition, according to the channel’s source, the US special envoy floated the idea of holding a regional conference on the peace process in Afghanistan.

Khalilzad, the source noted, discussed with the Afghan leadership in Kabul “revising a number of provisions [of the Doha agreement] between Washington and the Taliban, including the timeline for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.” According to the US special envoy, Washington is not going to withdraw from the agreement with the Taliban, but “intends to amend it.”

Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on his first visit since new US President Joe Biden took office. The US embassy in Afghanistan has notified that after Kabul, the US special envoy will visit Doha, where he will meet with Taliban representatives.

On February 29, 2020, the previous US leadership and the Taliban signed a peace agreement in Doha. Under the agreements, the United States, its allies and the coalition pledged to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan within 14 months. The Taliban, in turn, guaranteed that they would not use Afghan territory for activities that threaten the security of the United States and its allies.

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