Intra-Afghan negotiations must begin immediately: Khalilzad

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Kabul: (Raja Furqan Ahmed) The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said that the intra-Afghan negotiations “must begin immediately” after the roadblock ahead of the prisoner’s release was resolved.
In his tweets, Khalilzad said “We welcome the government now having exceeded 3000 Talib prisoners released and the Taliban 500+. It is important that the process continues and the prisoner’s release roadblock resolved”. He added that the Afghan-owned, Afghan-led negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban negotiating team “must begin immediately thereafter.” “From the start, getting to intra-Afghan negotiations (IAN) has been a key objective of our diplomacy,” he said. Meanwhile, the US official has welcomed the Taliban statement specifying they will participate in the intra-Afghan negotiation within one week of the prisoner release commitment outlined in our agreement. “Although many practical details need to be worked out, these developments are all very positive,” he noted. “We are closer to the goal of IAN than ever before,” Khalilzad tweeted. He urged all sides to sit around the negotiations table “as soon as possible” and “prevent spoilers from undermining the process and betraying the hopes and yearning of Afghan people for peace.”
It comes as the Afghan Presidential Palace says that the time and place for holding the Intra-Afghan talks will be determined soon. President Ghani at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council, vowed to release another 2,000 prisoners, something that has been requested from him frequently to move the peace process forward.