Khalilzad calls for immediate start of intra-Afghan talks - Kabul News
Updated Jun 12, 2020
Kabul, June 12 (IANS) US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said the intra-Afghan negotiations between the Kabul governments team and the Taliban "must begin immediately", and adding that the prisoner releases, which were a precursor for start of the negotiations, have reached a new milestone.
"We welcome the government now having exceeded 3,000 Taliban prisoners released and the Taliban 500. It is important that the process continues, and the prisoners release roadblock resolved," TOLO News quoted Khalilzad as saying on Thursday.
He said that "the Afghan-owned, Afghan-led negotiations between the inclusive Islamic Republic team and the Taliban negotiating team must begin immediately thereafter. From the start, getting to intra-Afghan negotiations (IAN) has been a key objective of our diplomacy".
"We welcome the Taliban statement specifying they will participate in intra-Afghan negotiations within one week of the prisoner release commitment outlined in our agreement. Although many practical details need to be worked out, these developments are all very positive," he said.
Khalilzad added that the US welcomed the Taliban statement specifying they will participate in IAN within one week of the prisoner release commitment outlined in our agreement.
Based on the US-Taliban agreement, 5,000 Taliban prisoners should be released ahead of the intra-Afghan negotiations, something that now looks closer to happen as the government has released at least 3,000 Taliban prisoners.