Kabul, US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has said that he expects the country’s peace process to conclude in months and not years, the media reported.
In an interview with TOLO News on Wednesday, the envoy also said that the current scale of violence in Afghanistan was not acceptable, and that it was strange how the Taliban has stopped attacks on foreigners but continues attacking Afghans.
“The Taliban attacks are not taking place against the foreign forces… We are happy with that, but, on the other side, the war continues against Afghans,” he said.
Although the Afghan government has refused to accept the February 29 US-Taliban deal as the foundation of the talks, Khalilzad believes that the agreement does in fact provide a valid basis.
“These principles have been accepted by all and (the US-Taliban agreement) lays a major and an important foundation,” Khalilzad told TOLO News.
“There is a high level of violence, violence needs to be reduced, a commitment has been made regarding this issue, we want that commitment to be honoured.”
Khalilzad’s remarks came after he landed in Doha, causing speculation that his mission was to mediate between the two sides.
But the envoy clarified that the purpose of his visit was to implement the US-Taliban peace agreement and to assist in attempts to reduce violence.
The opening ceremony of the intra-Afghan talks was held in Doha on September 12, but the two sides were yet to begin direct negotiations.
So far, seven meetings have taken place between their contact groups to discuss procedural rules for the talks.
According to reports, the talks were pending due to agreement on two points: the religious basis for the negatiations and the relevance of the US-Taliban deal.