‘We stand ready to lay down arms’, U.S. envoy for Afghan peace tells Taliban

The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has once again called on all sides involved in the Afghan conflict to lay down arms.

“All sides laying down arms is the outcome of any peace process. All sides agreeing to reduce violence is a necessary step toward achieving that outcome and the morally responsible choice to make. We stand ready,” Ambassador Khalilzad said in his latest Twitter post.

The U.S. envoy apparently posted the latest statement in response to Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid’s statement in which he had said The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliaiton should forget the idea of Taliban putting down our arms.

“@US4AfghanPeace should forget about the idea of us putting down our arms. Instead of such fantasies, he should drive the idea home (US) about ending the use of force & incurring further human & financial losses for the decaying Kabul administration,” Mujahid said in a statement posted on Twitter on Friday.

Ambassador Khalilzad had earlier told Taliban to put down arms, stop violence and embrace.

“In our opening session, I underscored to the Talibs that the Afghan people, who are their brothers & sisters, want this war to end. It is time to put down arms, stop the violence, & embrace peace,” Khalilzad said in a Twitter post.

He also added “Peace will require that we find common-ground on four inter-connected issues: troop withdrawal, counter-terrorism assurances, intra-Afghan dialogue & negotiations, and reduction in violence leading to a comprehensive ceasefire. Nothing will be final until we agree on all 4 issues.”

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