Afghan govt, Taliban meet in Doha 'positive step', but 'more must be done urgently' to end war: US

·2-min read
US Special Representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad
US Special Representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad

Washington [US], July 20 (ANI): Terming the Afghan government and Taliban meeting in Doha as "a positive step", the United States, however, noted that "more must be done urgently" as Afghans are suffering terribly from the war.

In a series of tweets, US Special Representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said only a negotiated political settlement can end this senseless violence, adding that Washington stands steadfastly with the Afghan people.

The Afghan government officials led by Abdullah Abdullah High Council for National Reconciliation and Taliban delegation met in Doha last week to discuss the restoration of peace in Afghanistan.

A joint statement was signed after the meeting in which both sides agreed to expedite the efforts to restore peace in Afghanistan and continue high-level talks.

However, the two sides fell short to agree on de-escalation of violence or ceasefire.

"The Afghanistan leaders meeting in Doha July 17-18 was a positive step. The parties agreed to accelerate negotiations for a political settlement that ends the war and responds to the aspirations of all men and women of Afghanistan. But more must be done, urgently," Khalilzad tweeted.

"Afghans are suffering terribly from the war. Credible reports of atrocities are emerging. The parties' commitment to preventing civilian casualties is a start, but only a negotiated political settlement can end this senseless violence," he added.

Extending wishes on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, Khalilzad said it is an opportune time for Afghan parties to reflect on what binds them in service of their fellow Afghans.

"As the parties prepare for #EidAlAdha, it is an opportune time to reflect on what binds them in service of their fellow Afghans and what sacrifices and meaningful compromises they can make for the sake of peace," he said.

"Eid Mubarak to all those that celebrate. The United States stands steadfastly with the Afghan people. Their desire is singular: a just and lasting peace," he added.

Afghanistan has witnessed a spike in violence in recent weeks. Taliban have stepped up offensive since the foreign forces began to withdraw from the country in May.

The United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces will complete military drawdown till the end of August.

Taliban is taking control of more and more territory in Afghanistan, while Afghan forces have launched a counteroffensive to thwart the terrorists. (ANI)

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