This move is not typical as traditionally an incoming administration replaces all politically appointed officials – especially those dealing with foreign policy issues.
Khalilzad, a diplomatic veteran, has worked on the peace process for more than two years and has been the key official from Washington to meet with both the Afghan government and the Taliban as well as all other stakeholders and regional leaders.
No further details were released and according to CNN the State Department did not comment when asked about Khalilzad staying on board.
However, in a statement issued late Friday, the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told his Afghan counterpart Hamdullah Mohib that the United States intends to review the February 2020 US-Taliban agreement.”
He also said Washington would assess whether the Taliban was living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders.
Sullivan also expressed America’s desire that all Afghan leaders embrace this “historic opportunity for peace and stability.”