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October 19, 2019
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Khalilzad says all will join intra Afghan dialogue in Doha

WASHINGTON/KABUL: The United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has said: “men [and] women, young [and] not-so-young, all will join in intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha [and] eventual negotiations”.

Ambassador Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, posted the update on Twitter following a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani.

“Had important meeting with Pres @AshrafGhani today. We have momentum now with #Afghans working together across party & society.

Had important meeting with Pres @AshrafGhani today. We have momentum now with #Afghans working together across party & society. Men & women, young & not-so-young, all will join in intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha & eventual negotiations. Look forward to meeting representatives soon.

“Look forward to meeting representatives soon,” he tweeted.

In his full statement on Twitter, on the other hand, it was noted that Khalilzad discussed “how to ensure the intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha next week, in which representatives of the Afghan government and wider society will participate, can best advance our shared goal of accelerating a settlement process”.

The topics, according to the statement, were discussed “with former President Karzai, leaders of the High Peace Council, and other prominent Afghans”.

“Ambassador Khalilzad underscored the imperative of reducing violence across Afghanistan in the coming weeks and explored ways to build broader regional support for the current effort to realize the Afghan people’s yearning for peace,” it added.

Earlier, an official had confirmed that Afghanistan would send a delegation to “exchange views” with the Taliban in Qatar in an ongoing push to find a way out of the country’s 17-year-old war.

Fresh talks are expected to take place in Doha later this month, where Taliban members are due to meet with Afghan officials and other stakeholders.

President Ghani’s envoy for peace, Mohammad Omar Daudzai, said: “For now, an inclusive delegation will go (to the Qatari capital) on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and exchange views with the Taliban.”

Daudzai stressed that the delegation will only serve to swap views with the Taliban, and its members would not necessarily be the same as a formal negotiating team.

Afghan officials, however, are set to meet on Wednesday to finalise delegates and decide who will comprise that official negotiating team.