• publish: 16 March 2021
  • time: 11:00 am
  • category: Politics
  • No: 17243

Khalilzad attends Moscow peace summit about Afghanistan

The US State Department has confirmed Washington’s Special Representative for National Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad will attend this week’s peace summit in Moscow.

The department’s spokesman Ned Price said at a briefing on Monday that “Ambassador Khalilzad does plan to attend the meeting in Moscow. 

Price stated that “as of last week the Secretary (Antony Blinken) said we are engaging in the region and international partners to try to accelerate progress towards a political settlement, and as a part of our ongoing efforts to encourage this important peace process, Ambassador Khalilzad does plan to attend the meeting in Moscow. 

“This meeting will complement all other international efforts to support the Afghanistan peace process and also reflects the international community’s concerns about the progress to date,” he said.

This comes after it was confirmed early Monday that Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, will also attend. He will lead the Afghan Republic’s delegation. 

Mohammad Naeem, the Taliban’s spokesman, also confirmed that a 10-member delegation from their side will attend the meeting. 

Khalilzad meanwhile arrived in Kabul on Monday and met with both President Ashraf Ghani and with Abdullah. 

According to the Presidential Palace (ARG) Ghani and Khalilzad discussed recent developments around the peace process and what lies ahead. 

“We discussed the peace process, new initiatives, latest political developments and steps forward,” Abdullah said in a tweet.

 Abdullah also said that during the meeting: “We reiterated our call for a political settlement and acceleration of the peace efforts.” 

Khalilzad’s visit to Kabul is the second in two weeks and takes place amid growing efforts by various stakeholders to get the Afghan Republic and the Taliban to reach a political settlement. 

The push for peace by the US has included a draft peace plan which was handed to all parties to the conflict and other influential parties and outlined a plan for an interim government. Another suggestion was that involving a summit, in Turkey. 

Moscow has since however organized another peace meeting that is expected to take place in Russia on Thursday. The Afghan government and the Taliban have both indicated that they will be attending the meeting. 

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