US envoy talks with PM Khan, military leadership to help end Afghan conflict

Statement on the conclusion of Special Representative Khalilzad’s visit to Pakistan

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Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan met with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Wednesday in the federal capital for a dialogue aimed to end Afghan conflict.

Khalilzad, the US special envoy tasked with finding a negotiated end to Afghan’s prolonged war, arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday for a two-day follow-up on discussions held in October.

Special Representative Khalilzad met with PM Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa, and members of the diplomatic corps.

In his meetings, Ambassador Khalilzad stressed the United States’ commitment to facilitating a political settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban that ensures Afghanistan never again serves as a platform for international terrorism and ends the 40-years-long war in the country, and he highlighted that all countries in the region will benefit from peace in Afghanistan.

“The US leadership is looking for a peaceful solution to the Afghan peace process and mutual cooperation between the two sides,” Khalilzad told the premier.

Nodding to which, the premier stated that “Pakistan wants a political solution to Afghan peace and reconciliation.”

A few days prior to that, Khalilzad had met with foreign minister Qureshi had reiterated US President Donald Trump’s desire to seek Pakistan’s cooperation for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan will continue to cooperate with sincerity for political settlement in Afghanistan. Long-lasting peace in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s best interest,” the foreign minister tweeted.

Khalilzad will also travel to Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in a stepped-up effort to find a peaceful end to the Afghan war.

“He will meet with Afghan government officials and other interested parties to support and facilitate an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan, empowering the Afghan people to decide their nation’s fate,” read a press release by the US Department of State.