Zalmay Khalilzad’s mission comes a year after the US and Taliban signed an agreement to end Washington’s longest war.
The United States has announced that its envoy for the Afghan peace process will travel to the capitals of Afghanistan and Qatar to resume talks with Afghan leaders, government officials and representatives of the Taliban.
In a statement on Sunday, the US State Department said Zalmay Khalilzad would meet Afghan leaders and Taliban delegates in Kabul and Doha and “discuss the way forward”.
He will also visit other regional capitals in Afghanistan “whose interests are best served by achieving a just and lasting political settlement” as well as through a “permanent and comprehensive ceasefire” in Afghanistan.
The State Department did not provide any dates or other details.
The statement came a year after the government of former President Donald Trump and the Taliban signed a historic agreement in the Qatari capital, Doha, in which Washington agreed to withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan in order to pledge the armed group to the Cease admission of al-Qaeda fighters and begin peace negotiations with the Afghan government.
These talks began in September last year, but since then progress has slowed and violence has increased, with uncertainty about whether international forces will withdraw their forces by May as originally planned.
In addition to 10,000 NATO employees, around 2,500 US troops remain in Afghanistan.
The Taliban also issued a statement marking the anniversary of the Doha Agreement, saying they had fulfilled their commitments under the agreement, halting attacks on provincial capitals and targeting large military and intelligence centers.
It also reiterated its calls for the withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan, the removal of the Taliban leaders from the black list of the United Nations and the release of more prisoners.
The new administration of US President Joe Biden is currently reviewing the February 2020 deal, but Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last week that the withdrawal of US troops is contingent on progress in intra-Afghan peace talks and a reduction in Taliban attacks.
The US “will not make a hasty or disorderly withdrawal from Afghanistan” that endangers NATO forces, Austin told reporters during his first press conference as Pentagon chief, adding that “no decisions have been made about our future position of the armed forces”.
The conflict in Afghanistan is Washington’s longest war.
The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, accusing the Taliban government of providing refuge to the armed Al Qaeda group, which it accused of basing the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, DC, in the South Asian country to have carried out.
In a report to the US Congress in early February, a bipartisan group of experts said the Taliban had not yet proven “that they are able or even ready” to fulfill their commitment to part ways with al-Qaeda and “continue to do so.” To accept help “. from the group.
A full withdrawal of US troops without a permanent peace agreement would allow armed groups to gradually rebuild their capabilities “so that they can attack the US homeland within 18 months to three years,” the Afghan study group said.
The US “should not … just hand over a victory to the Taliban,” she said, adding, “A return to conflict amid the wreckage of the political process would place the US in a difficult position: to want to withdraw; to one tied to a divided government; and facing an encouraged insurrection with far fewer resources on the ground than before, ”he added.