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Khalilzad Expected in Kabul for Talks on Lasting Ceasefire

US special envoy on Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad is due in Afghanistan, Qatar, and other regional capitals to resume talks on a permanent ceasefire, the US state department said in a statement.

“He will resume discussions on the way ahead with the Islamic Republic and Afghan leaders, Taliban representatives, and regional countries whose interests are best served by the achievement of a just and durable political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” the statement read.

The visits come as the violence in Afghanistan surged dramatically after Doha peace deal signed on 29 February 2020. The Biden administration announced that it is reviewing the agreement.
On February 12, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said among the issues the review will examine are “whether the Taliban are fulfilling their commitments relating to counterterrorism, reducing violence, engaging in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan Government and other stakeholders.”
On February 19, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, after meeting with NATO allies, said he sought a “responsible and sustainable end to this war” rather than emphasizing the deal currently in place.

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