Khalilzad speaks to Mullah Baradar, Trump for a ‘candid discussion’

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United States Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Thursday said he held a meeting with the Taliban’s chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and his team, for a “candid discussion” about the next steps.

In a series of tweets, the US special envoy said he also had a constructive phone call with President Donald Trump and agreed that the purpose of the US-Taliban deal is to ensure peace in Afghanistan.

“We all agreed the purpose of the US-Taliban agreement is to pave the path to a comprehensive peace in Afghanistan,” he wrote.

They agreed that the increase in violence is affecting the peace agreement and must be resolved immediately.

The US envoy also stated that the exchange of prisoners was discussed, adding that the United States is committed to facilitating the exchange as agreed in the US-Taliban agreement and the US-Afghanistan Joint Declaration.

NATO chief warns of the hard road to Afghan peace as violence soars

“We will support each side to release significant numbers.”

He said all obstacles in the way should be cleared and urged the Afghans to put the country first and work towards ensuring peace.

“I once again call on all Afghans to rise to the occasion, put country first and not to lose this historic opportunity.”

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