The Kabul Times.
Politics

Khalilzad visits India amid Doha talks

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Monday visited India as the United States delegation’s talks with the Taliban had a one-day break on the occasion of Ramadhan. 
Khalilzad held talks with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and briefed her on peace efforts in Afghanistan, the Indian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s spokesman Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet on Monday. 
“Both discussed role of all regional stakeholders in bringing peace and development in Afghanistan,” Kumar said. “India will work with key partners in days ahead.”
Meanwhile, the US Special Envoy in a tweet on the occasion of Ramadhan on Tuesday said Afghans have suffered war’s catastrophic impact for too long. “I hope all Afghans take this season to reflect, forgive, and renew faith and commitment to end violence and embrace peace,” he said. 
This comes as sources familiar with Qatar talks said Taliban is still insisting on more discussions on foreign forces withdrawal in their negotiations with US officials in Doha.
The Qatar talks were will resume on Tuesday, according to sources. 
The High Peace Council, which shoulders peace efforts under the Afghan government, in a statement on Monday called on the Afghan government and the Taliban to announce a ceasefire during Ramadhan in order to provide the ground for confidence-building measures and intra-Afghan dialogue. Efforts are underway for the creation of a commission which will tackle the issue of release of Taliban prisoners, the statement said.  
“Khalilzad was insisting that the Taliban should announce a ceasefire, but it is unacceptable for the Taliban, similar demands were made before also, but this time, they insisted a lot on a ceasefire, but the Taliban insists that first there is a need to clarify the issue of foreign forces withdrawal,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban member to local Tolonews channel.
The Taliban in a statement on Friday, May 3, rejected the call for a ceasefire which was the main demand of the grand council of almost 3,200 Afghan delegates from around the country. The group said would continue their bloodshed campaign.
The Kabul Times

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The Kabul Times.