Washington DC: US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has left for Qatari capital Doha to hold talks on Afghanistan and urge the Taliban to stop the offensive.
“US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad departed for travel to Doha on August 8. Ambassador Khalilzad will be in Doha to help formulate a joint international response to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan,” the US State Department said in a statement.
The meeting of the extended troika on Afghan settlement is scheduled to begin today in Qatar.
“In several planned rounds of meetings over three days, representatives from countries in the region and beyond as well as from multilateral organizations will press for a reduction of violence and ceasefire and a commitment not to recognize a government imposed by force,” the statement said.
Khalilzad will “press the Taliban to stop their military offensive” and to negotiate a political settlement, which is the only path to stability and development in Afghanistan, it added.
This trip comes in the backdrop of a surge in the Taliban offensive and reports of grave human rights violations and war crimes in the territory held by the terrorist group.
“The increased tempo of Taliban military engagement, resulting in civilian causalities in armed conflict between the sides, and alleged human rights atrocities are of grave concern,” the statement said.
The state department said that a negotiated peace is the only path to ending the war, and the United States will continue to work with regional and international stakeholders to advance a consensus on a political settlement.