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Violence Threatening Peace process/ Charges of Violating Deal Unfounded: Khalilzad

US Especial envoy on Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad reacted against Taliban’s recent attacks, saying the belief that violence must escalate to win concessions at the negotiating table is very risky.

Ambassador Khalilzad twitted that unfounded charges of violations and inflammatory rhetoric do not advance peace.
“Instead, we should pursue strict adherence to all articles of the U.S.-Taliban Agreement and U.S.-Afghanistan Joint Declaration and not neglect the commitment to gradually reduce violence,” he said.
“The belief that says violence must escalate to win concessions at the negotiating table is very risky. Such an approach can undermine the peace process and repeats past miscalculations by Afghan leaders,”

According to him, it was a focus of the agreement they signed, further highlighted in connection with the releases of the last batch of prisoners and reaffirmed again in the most recent commitment all sides made to adhere to all aspects of the deal.
“Our expectation has been and remains that violence comes down and stays down,” Khalilzad stressed.

“Although violence in Helmand has decreased, violence overall in the country remains high,” he said, adding that “all sides agreed to decrease attacks and strikes and reduce violence and casualties”.

He continued that the Taliban attacks in Helmand, including on the provincial capital; Taliban attacks against Afghan security forces; and Taliban complaints of ANSF operations and coalition strikes led to a recent meeting in Doha.
“Continued high levels of violence can threaten the peace process and the agreement and the core understanding that there is no military solution. Violence today remains distressingly high in spite of the recent reaffirmation of the need for substantial reduction,” he underlined.

The remarks come as Taliban escalated violence in Afghanistan since they signed a peace deal with the US on 29 February. The Taliban in a statement accused the foreign forces of violating the deal.

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