US envoy Khalilzad

Khalilzad concludes ‘productive’ four-day visit to Kabul

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad concluded a “productive” four-day visit to Kabul, the US Embassy in Kabul said in a statement issued today, Monday, April 12.

According to the statement, the US peace envoy has discussed preparations for the upcoming Istanbul conference in his meeting with government officials, political leaders, civil society activists, and the diplomatic community.

“In each engagement, Ambassador Khalilzad underscored why it was important both sides accelerate the peace process,” part of the statement read.

As per the statement, Khalilzad has stated that the full and meaningful participation of women and minority groups is essential for a sustainable peace settlement.

This comes as the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) has finalized a peace proposal out of more than 20 proposals made by the Afghan political factions. The draft document of the proposal is already handed over to the HCNR leadership committee for approval, said Feraidoon Khwazoon, the HCNR Spokesperson on Sunday, April 11.

The proposal was finalized after repeated requests made by Khalilzad pushing the Islamic Republic to attend the upcoming conference with a single proposal.

In the meantime, the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Deborah Lyons, met separately with President Ghani, the HCNR Chairman Abdullah Abdullah, and Sadat Mansour Naderi, State Minister for Peace, and discussed the Istanbul meeting and the latest developments in the peace process.

“Deborah Lyons and President Ghani discussed Istanbul conference,” the UNAMA said in a tweet posted earlier today, April 12.  UN envoy highlighted pressing need for an end to the violence with a political settlement that answers aspirations of all Afghans, including women.

According to the First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, the “agreement on values”, “ceasefire”, and “establishing the peace government” are anticipated to be the main agendas of the Istanbul meeting which is tentatively scheduled to be kicked off on April 16.