ISLAMABAD – The U.S. peace envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation has resumed his diplomatic efforts to press warring Afghan parties to reduce battlefield hostilities and accelerate ongoing negotiations to reach a deal that ends the country’s nearly 20-year war. Zalmay Khalilzad’s renewed push comes as President Donald Trump’s administration says it has brought down the U.S. military presence in the war-ravaged country to 4,500 troops. Khalilzad returned this week to Doha, Qatar, where teams representing the Afghan government and the Taliban insurgency have been negotiating since September 12. They have not made headway because of lingering disputes over procedural matters. A spokesman for the Taliban, Mohammad Naeem Wardak, said Thursday that their political leaders in Doha met with Khalilzad and his team the previous evening, and that the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, also attended. On the agenda Wardak said the two sides discussed “the importance and full implementation” of the peace agreement signed by the Taliban and the U.S. in February. Wardak added that the removal of names of top Taliban leaders from a U.N. so-called blacklist and alleged U.S. violations of the agreement also were discussed. The U.S. side has so far not commented on… Read full this story
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