South Asia and Beyond

Khalilzad: Strong Consensus Against Taliban Takeover

Back in Kabul, U.S. Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in his meetings with Afghan leaders reiterated a “strong consensus within both the regional and international community against any effort by the Taliban to pursue a military takeover,” an American Embassy statement says. He met President Ashraf Ghani, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah and other leaders including Ex-President Hamid Karzai. Tolo News quotes sources as saying, the ‘Americans and the Taliban are discussing the possibility of ending the withdrawal process by the beginning of July. The Taliban will return to talks, will attend the Turkey conference and will reduce violence if there is an agreement on the matter.’ President Biden has started the withdrawal process before the May 1 deadline agreed in the Taliban-Trump administration deal and has announced the exit will be completed latest by 9/11. Khalilzad has over the last few days met with ethnic-Uzbek Afghan leader Field Marshal Dostum in Tashkent as well as Taliban, Republic of Afghanistan representatives and his Russian, Chinese and Pakistani counterparts in Doha.

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