Negotiator: US Wants Afghan Peace Deal Before July Election

US Afghan envoy Zalmay Khalilzad wants peace deal before July vote

US Afghan envoy Zalmay Khalilzad wants peace deal before July vote

"It will be better for Afghanistan if we could get a peace agreement before the election, which is scheduled in July", Mr Khalilzad said, adding that there remained "a lot of work" to do. "We have a long way to go".

The talks, which were held from February 4 to 7, were attended by 40 Afghan politicians, excluding government officials. A small percentage of the US force there is focused on targeting terrorist groups - namely al-Qaida and Islamic State forces that the Pentagon has said remain a threat.

"That is a red line, and I think that's a policy of the (US) president as well".

In recent months, President Donald Trump has suggested withdrawing almost half of the American forces in Afghanistan, but US officials have said he has thus far resisted that urge, largely in an effort to back Khalilzad's negotiations.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly signaled his intention to wind down America's longest conflict, declaring Tuesday in his State of the Union address that "great nations do not fight endless wars". "The release of Mullah Baradar, which was my request.they (Pakistan) accommodated that, because Mullah Baradar has a reputation of being more open, more pro-peace", said the top American envoy who is leading the Trump Administration's efforts to have peace talks with the Taliban.

The sides agreed on an assurance to the global community that Afghanistan would not be used as a terror base against any other nation, and that women had the right to education and work in line with Islamic principles.

But Mujahid said that, even in Moscow talks, nothing concrete was achieved that would compel them to end the war and military pressure, the channel reported.

The possibility of a unilateral USA withdrawal from Afghanistan has created a new wave of uncertainty in the region, "which poses yet another challenge to Pakistan", he warned.

At the same time, the Times said the increase in lethal operations is not without cost to both American and Afghan forces.

Afghanistan has suffered almost constant conflict since the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was followed by civil war, the Taliban regime, and the United States invasion in late 2001.

"Pakistan has tried to facilitate talks between the Taliban and the United States and also favors inter-Afghan dialogue including between the Taliban and the (Afghan) government", he said. He added: "Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to".

He, however, said that if the Taliban do end up having a say in the Afghan polity one day, they will approach Pakistan "as a brother and a neighbour", seeking "comprehensive ties based on mutual respect".

In the meantime, Khalilzad said the Taliban leaders may participate in future summits in the presence of Afghan government representatives.

"The timing of a peace settlement from our point of view is the sooner is better", Mr Khalilzad said. The ex-president also said he would like to see all foreign troops withdrawing from his country "as soon as possible", even though he admitted that it would likely be a "very hard process".

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