US envoy Khalilzad arrives in Islamabad to discuss Afghan peace

ISLAMABAD: United States (US) special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmy Khalilzad arrived in Islamabad on Thursday to hold talks with senior civil and military officials to facilitate an intra-Afghan political settlement, ARY News reported.

Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells is accompanying him on his visit.

During Khalizad’s stay in the capital, he will also hold talks at the foreign office regarding the Afghan peace process with the Taliban and the US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The ambassador is leading a delegation of officials in his two-week visit from January 8 – 21 to Pakistan, India, China and Afghanistan. He will meet with senior government officials of each country during his visit.

The US State Department stated that the envoy continues to coordinate his efforts with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and other Afghan stakeholders to ensure a successful peace process.

“The US goal is to promote dialogue among Afghans about how to end the conflict, and to encourage the parties to come together at the negotiating table to reach a political settlement where every Afghan citizen enjoys equal rights and responsibilities under the rule of law,” the state department said in a statement.

During his previous visit in December, the US envoy said the only solution to the conflict is for all parties to sit together and reach an agreement on the war-torn country’s future with mutual respect and acceptance.