KABUL: Former United States diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad — Washington's newly-named pointperson tasked with finding a peaceful end to Afghanistan's 17-year war - wrapped up his first visit to the country as Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation after meeting with a wide range of stakeholders.
According to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Kabul, Khalilzad met with stakeholders in and outside of government.
He met with President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah, as well as representatives of a variety of political groups, key civil society organizations including the High Peace Council, and Afghan media.
“He received a Security Campaign Update briefing and discussed security issues with National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib, the Ministers of Defense and Interior, and the head of the National Security Directorate,” the statement read.
In his meetings, Khalilzad asked for cooperation from all sides to bring an end to the conflict and called on the parties to facilitate dialogue by forming inclusive negotiating teams.
Recalling the sacrifices of the Afghan people over many years of war, Khalilzad said: “We, in cooperation with the Afghan people and government, want to make a peaceful Afghanistan where all Afghans see themselves included.
“All citizens of Afghanistan must be a part of the reconciliation process.”
He later left for Pakistan to seek the help of the new PTI-led government in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table.
Khalilzad, who was also born in Afghanistan, first served in Kabul as a special envoy of President George W Bush following the 2001 ouster of the Taliban and then as Washington's ambassador to Afghanistan.
According to the embassy’s statements, Khalilzad plans to return to Kabul for further consultations with Afghan leaders in the near future.