U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan tries to speed up peace talks

According to the State Department, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is visiting Turkey for this purpose

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad traveled to Turkey this week to urge parties to the Afghan conflict to speed up negotiations to establish a truce in that country. The State Department said Saturday.

Ambassador Khalilzad began the trip back on Thursday, March 25, the statement said. He will try to convince both sides of the need for “negotiations for a political settlement that leads to a permanent ceasefire and a lasting and just peace,” the State Department said, referring to the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Ambassador Khalilzad “will also meet with stakeholders to discuss how the region and the international community can facilitate negotiations between the parties,” the report said.

The New York Times reported Friday that a number of members of the U.S. intelligence community are trying to dissuade Joe Biden from implementing a decision made back under President Donald Trump to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, citing a classified intelligence report indicating the unstable situation in the country.

According to the intelligence forecast, the Taliban may seize most of Afghanistan in two to three years. That would happen if U.S. troops are withdrawn before an agreement is reached on power-sharing between the Taliban and the official government in Kabul.

The withdrawal would also potentially allow the al-Qaida terrorist organization to rebuild its capabilities in Afghanistan, the newspaper reported, citing anonymous U.S. leadership sources.

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