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Resolution of Afghan Conflict Is Now in Play

Dec. 20, 2018 (EIRNS)—The United States and the Taliban have concluded two days of peace talks in the United Arab Emirates on Dec. 18-19, promising to meet again in the Gulf country for another round to complete the Afghanistan reconciliation process. The Afghan reconciliation conference in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., “fructified in tangible results” that are positive for all parties concerned, announced the state-run Emirates News Agency (WAM) on Dec. 19. The talks included the participation of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Despite the optimism expressed by WAM, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan’s Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said today the Taliban delegation made a mistake by refusing to sit with the representatives of the Afghan government during talks. In an exclusive interview today with the Afghan channel, Ariana News, and yesterday with Afghan TV network TOLONews, Khalilzad said if the Taliban were sincere in peace talks they should have met with the Afghan government delegation.

It is evident that the 16-year war between the Taliban and the U.S.-Kabul combo cannot be resolved quickly. However, the “threat” issued by President Donald Trump that the U.S. intends to leave Afghanistan lock, stock and barrel has created a sense of urgency amongst all the regional players. Today in New Delhi, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov held talks with India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and other officials of the External Affairs Ministry as part of their regular bilateral consultations on Afghanistan, reported the Indian ministry in its press briefing today. Spokesperson Shri Rajeesh Kumar told media that “both sides reiterated their support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, inclusive peace and reconciliation process.”

On Dec. 15, officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan and China had met in Kabul to discuss trade, development and solutions to end the region’s relentless conflicts.

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