US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad appreciates Pakistan’s support to global ‘Afghan peace process’ issue

United States special representative for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has on Monday appreciated Pakistan’s effort in the Afghan peace process and urged to approach the upcoming elections as well as ongoing peace talks with the Taliban officials with equal seriousness.

According to Dawn news reports, while pointing out suggestions by European Union’s high envoy for foreign affairs Federica Mogherini at a meeting earlier this week in Brussels, Khalilzad, in a tweet, said, “Enter negotiations as if there were no elections, united as a country, and do elections as if there were no negotiations.”

Afghanistan had delayed its presidential election until July 20 earlier this month for the second time, which was originally scheduled to take place on April 20, but suspended due to security concerns. Then too, the elections were delayed till September 28, apparently in order to gain time for discussion with the Taliban, who repeated its refusal to hold a direct conversation with the Afghan government.

Khalilzad wrote: “I particularly appreciated Federica Mogherini’s thoughts for Afghans concerned about potential overlap in timing of elections and the Afghan peace process.”

Khalilzad, who is on a multi-nation official trip to facilitate Afghan talks, has also noted Pakistan has assured the Afghan government that it has no intentions to interfere in Afghan’s internal affairs.

He said, “Appreciate Pakistan’s and other regional support for Afghan Peace Process and agree that Afghans have the right to live in peace after a long period of war.”



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