The Weekend Leader - US envoy to discuss Afghanistan with Pakistan officials

US envoy to discuss Afghanistan with Pakistan officials



 The US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation will hold talks here on Tuesday with Pakistani officials to discuss ways of bringing about peace in Afghanistan.

A Pakistani official told Xinhua news agency that Zalmay Khalilzad will meet Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other senior officials.

A US embassy spokesman said Khalilzad will "explore how best to reach a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan".

The envoy is visiting Pakistan as part of his 10-day visit to five countries -- Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. 

He ended his two-day visit to Afghanistan on Monday where he met President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and several Afghan leaders.

Khalilzad's mission is to coordinate and lead US efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. He will do so in close coordination with the Afghan government and other stakeholders, the US State Department said last week.

The US is seeking help of the stakeholders to encourage the Taliban to sit with the Afghan government to find out a political solution to the conflict which has entered its 18th year. 

Pakistan and all regional countries favour direct talks between the Taliban and Kabul. But the Taliban wants a dialogue with the US and a time-frame for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. - IANS

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