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US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrives in Islamabad, meets FM Qureshi

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Veteran United States diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad — Washington’s newly named level man tasked with discovering a peaceable finish to Afghanistan’s 17-year struggle — arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday to hunt the assistance of the brand new PTI-led authorities in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating desk.

Khalilzad arrived in Islamabad from neighboring Afghanistan the place he met with President Ashraf Ghani, a long-time buddy.

Delegation-level talks between Pakistan and the US on Afghan reconciliation course of have been held on the international workplace, based on Radio Pakistan. The Pakistani facet was led by Overseas Secretary Tehmina Janjua and the US facet by Khalilzad.

Afterward, he known as on Overseas Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The international minister stated that Pakistan will proceed to play its function for a political resolution to the Afghan battle, Radio Pakistan reported.

Each the leaders agreed to proceed cooperation on Afghan reconciliation course of.

Khalilzad, who was additionally born in Afghanistan, first served in Kabul as a particular envoy of President George W Bush following the 2001 ouster of the Taliban after which as Washington’s ambassador to Afghanistan.

However, Khalilzad has a prickly relationship with Pakistan, having usually accused Islamabad of fomenting violence in Afghanistan by supporting the Taliban.

Overseas Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday had urged the Trump administration’s new envoy to be extra delicate to Pakistani opinion than he has been as a non-public citizen.

“He is been given a brand new function, and I hope, I’d urge him to be extra delicate to opinion in Pakistan,” Qureshi had informed the US Institute of Peace, a Washington suppose tank.

Qureshi had identified that there had been a detrimental response within the Pakistani press to the appointment as a result of Khalilzad “has made statements up to now which haven’t been, to be put it mildly, very pleasant to Pakistan”.

Washington and Kabul have each repeatedly accused Pakistan of offering secure havens for Taliban insurgents, a declare Islamabad has denied and countered with costs that its personal insurgents have discovered sanctuary in Afghanistan.

Each neighbouring international locations have been brutally focused by militants.

Center East stopovers
The tour, which was first introduced by the US State Division as a mission to coordinate and lead US efforts to carry the Taliban to the negotiating desk, has been shrouded in secrecy.

Khalilzad can be anticipated to go to United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — the place the Taliban preserve a political workplace.

In July, the Taliban had stated they met there with Alice Wells, Washington’s then-top diplomat within the area.

Washington has neither denied nor confirmed the assembly although Wells was in Qatar on the time.

It isn’t recognized whether or not there could be an identical assembly with Khalilzad on his go to. The Taliban have refused to date to touch upon Khalilzad’s appointment.

Direct talks with the US have been a persistent demand of the Taliban, who accuse Ghani’s authorities of being America’s “puppets”.

The Afghan Taliban have condemned Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections later this month and threatened extra assaults on Afghan safety forces.

In an announcement on Monday, which was additionally launched in English, the Taliban additionally urged Afghan candidates to withdraw their names from the poll lists.

They denounced the polls as an America-designed ploy to additional US pursuits in Afghanistan and warned Afghan safety forces that they’d be focused.

The assertion additionally repeated the long-standing Taliban demand for a whole withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan.

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