US Envoy to Push Afghanistan, Taliban on Peace Talks

US wants intra-Afghan talks to get going

US peace negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad is making visits to Doha and Kabul this week to press both the Taliban and the Ghani government to begin intra-Afghan peace talks in earnest, something which the peace deal suggested should’ve happened months ago.

The peace talks have been stalled as the Ghani government has been slow on prisoner releases, and the lack of a unified Afghan government has made it unclear who the Taliban are even meant to talk to.

Over the weekend, Afghan officials resolved the government dispute, and that’s going to be a good chance for Abdullah Abdullah, now charged with leading the peace process, to do something. The US is hoping to take advantage of that.

From the Taliban perspective, much of this rests on progress in getting their prisoners released, and anything short of that is going to be seen as the US stepping back from the agreement.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.