U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad was dispatched on Friday with a special envoy for Afghanistan to press for peace talks between the government and Taliban fighters.
The diplomat is also scheduled to visit Kabul on a trip with stops in five nations, the U.S. State Department said on Saturday.
The agreement’s intentions is to pave the way for formal peace talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government, and Khalilzad’s task is to try and bring both sides to the table. Khalilzad plans to press for a deal on prisoner exchanges and a reduction in violence, two issues that have hampered progress toward starting peace talks.
The United States is drawing down its troops in Afghanistan under an agreement struck in February with the Taliban. “Although significant progress has been made on prisoner exchanges, the issue requires additional effort to fully resolve,” the State Department said in its statement.
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