US peace envoy Khalilzad departs on travel to Qatar, Afghanistan for new talks

Issuing a statement on Tuesday, August 20, the US Department of State said that Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad departed on travel to Qatar and Afghanistan for resuming new round of talks with the Taliban.

“In Kabul, he will consult with the leadership of the Afghan government on the peace process and encourage full preparation for intra-Afghan negotiations,” the statement further noted.

This comes days after Khalilzad briefed US President Donald Trump on the proceedings made over the eight rounds of peace talks with the Taliban.

In a tweet following the briefing, Trump wrote: “Just completed a very good meeting on Afghanistan. Many on the opposite side of this 19 year war, and us, are looking to make a deal — if possible!”

The eight round of US-Taliban talks begun on August 04 and ended on August 12, both sides said they would consult their respective leaderships on the next steps.

During the talks, Khalilzad said in a tweet on August 05 that they had made “excellent progress” for reaching a peace deal with the Taliban.