US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad announced constructive meetings with Taliban representatives, afghanistantoday.ru online publication informs.
“I held 3 constructive meetings with Mullah Berader (Abdul Ghani Baradar, Deputy Head of Taliban movement) & members of the Taliban Political Commission. Em-phasized the US-Taliban agreement is inter-connected: counterterrorist commit-ments, intra-Afghan negotiations, troop withdrawal, & gradual violence reduction leading to a permanent ceasefire”, Khalilzad said in a series of tweets.
He noted, during the meeting, he also raised missing Americans citizens as well as concerns about recent Taliban attacks in Ghazni, Khost and Kunduz. In addition, concerns with President Ghani’s ordering offensive attacks were discussed.
He told the Taliban that violence by all sides must fall. “Innocent Afghans have borne far too much and for too long the costs of this war.” The Taliban expressed their commitment to the agreement and its implementation. They said they would do all they could to locate missing US citizens. They will consult their leadership on the next step. The next is Kabul”, Khalilzad said.
A peace agreement between Taliban and U.S. officials was signed in Doha, Qatar, on February 29. It envisaged that before the intra-Afghan negotiations, the govern-ment would release 5,000 Taliban prisoners, and the radical movement – 1,000 Af-ghan soldiers. However, later the government announced its readiness to swap 1,500 Taliban prisoners by stages. So far, neither one nor other of these conditions have been fulfilled, the media recalls.