Khalilzad ‘disappointed’ by postponement of inter-Afghan peace talks
United States (US) Special Envoy on Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad expressed his disappointment on Friday over the postponement of the scheduled inter-Afghan talks in Doha.
In a statement on Twitter, the US representative said, “I’m disappointed Qatar’s intra-Afghan initiative has been delayed. We’re in touch with all parties and encouraged that everyone remains committed to dialogue.”
Continuing further in another tweet, Zalmay wrote, “Dialogue is and always will be key to a political roadmap and lasting peace. There is no alternative.”
(2/2) Dialogue is and always will be key to a political roadmap and lasting peace. There is no alternative. I urge all sides to seize the moment and put things back on track by agreeing to a participant list that speaks for all Afghans. I stand ready to help if our help is needed
— U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) April 18, 2019
He also urged “all sides to seize the moment and put things back on track by agreeing to a participant list that speaks for all Afghans.” The envoy also offered his assistance in this regard in his statement.
A key part of the long Afghan peace process, entailing a meeting between the Taliban and Afghan officials along with civil society members, was postponed owing to militant’s reservation over the lengthy guest list.
The talks which were scheduled to kick off from Friday in Doha were delayed citing Taliban’s objections over a 250-member Afghan delegation.
A senior Afghan government official in Kabul said “the gathering has been called off for now and details were being reworked.”
The Taliban were displeased seeing the scores of intending guest, saying it was not “normal” and that they had “no plans” to meet with so many people.
“The creators of (the) Kabul list must realise that this is an orderly and prearranged conference in a far-away Khaleeji (Gulf) country and not an invitation to some wedding or other party at a hotel in Kabul,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.