Washington, May 23: Special US Representative on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has done an amazing job by bringing the parties to the peace table, the Trump Administration said as the envoy briefed lawmakers in the US capitol on the progress in the peace process.
"I think that the ambassador has done an amazing job at bringing the parties to the table that many in the US government probably thought would never be able to get to the table," State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told reporters here Wednesday. "He's making slow and steady progress in these talks," Ortagus said soon after Khalilzad briefed Congressmen. US Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad Warns the Taliban: Peace Not Possible Unless the Taliban Adapt.
"I know he completed another round recently. While he has an incredibly tough job, I think that he is doing something that is important to the president, the secretary and the American people: to try to get a peaceful solution in Afghanistan," she said in response to a question. The Congressional hearing titled "The Reconciliation Process in Afghanistan" by Khalilzad was classified.
During the briefing, Senator Bob Menendez said the peace process must incorporate the views of the different ethnicities and political factions across the country. The US must insist on an intra-Afghan dialogue and actively participate in helping to shape the terms of those negotiations, he said.
"After being such an enormous factor in the course of Afghanistan over the past 18 years, it is neither fair nor realistic to expect Afghan political leaders to settle these differences without us at the intra-Afghan table and without the leverage afforded by US troops," he said.
Referring to the recent remarks by Khalilzad about securing counter-terrorism guarantees, Menendez said this was perhaps the most critical component of a very complex peace deal.
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