Khalilzad hails Uzbekistan’s support for intra-Afghan talks

In part of his efforts to bring peace and find regional consensus on Afghan peace, US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the country’s Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kalimov, where the discussed issues related to the Afghan peace process.

“We discussed critical role region plays in achieving and sustaining peace, and in accelerated regional integration afterwards,” Khalilzad said in a tweet on Friday, where he also thanked Uzbek officials for support to the Afghan peace process and offer to host intra-Afghan dialogue in the future.

This comes as Uzbekistan delegation led by Uzbek Foreign Minister recently visited Kabul, where they held talks with high-ranking Afghan officials, discussing issues of mutual interests.

During meeting with President Ashraf Ghani, the Uzbek delegation expressed readiness to host Afghan government and the Taliban face-to-face talks as part of renewed push for ongoing peace talks underway between US officials and Taliban negotiating members.

Khalilzad also met with Afghan students in Uzbekistan who are busy pursing higher education. “Great to sit and spend time with current Afghan students and recent graduates from Uzbek universities, he said.

He added; “Thoughtful, hardworking, and well informed—these young Afghans living abroad also yearn deeply for peace and brighter future for Afghanistan.”

It is worth mentioning that Khalilzad left Kabul following “productive talks” with Afghan leaders on accelerating a settlement process, reducing violence across Afghanistan, and supporting Afghan security forces if violence continues, the US Embassy said in a statement on April 7.

The US special envoy, who visited Kabul in a multi-nation visit on Afghan peace, also met with representatives of the civil society, women, youth as well as tribal elders to discuss the way forward to a peaceful Afghanistan.

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