Khalilzad: US Will Safeguard Afghan People’s Interest in Talks

Khalilzad said some people inside Afghanistan prefer the current situation to peace with the Taliban.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghanistan peace, in an interview with TOLOnews on the sidelines of the  Afghan peace talks in Doha on Saturday said the United States will not allow personal interests to take precedence over national interests in the talks.

Asked about the possibility of a breakdown in the Afghan talks, Khalilzad said it would not be acceptable to the United States and that a solution to the Afghan crisis must be found.

“It is not acceptable and there is a solution to every problem, and a solution must be found. We are ready to help if the country’s interests come first and personal interests do not come first. I am confident that a solution will be found, and we will not allow personal interests to take precedence, and this is the promise of the United States to the people of Afghanistan,” Khalilzad said.

According to Khalilzad, there are some  people inside Afghanistan who prefer the current situation to a peace with the Taliban and want to keep the United States engaged in the war so the US can pay the price. For this reason, he said, some are supporting the regional rivalries in Afghanistan.

“Some prefer the current situation rather than peace with the Taliban. For instance, within Afghanistan there are some who are trying to keep the US engaged in the war,” Khalilzad added.

Also, Khalilzad explained US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks at the opening ceremony as meaning that the Afghans’ decision would influence the US . “We don’t want to impose a system (govt),” said Khalilzad.

Pompeo stated on Saturday:

“As you make your decisions, you should keep in mind that your choices and conduct will affect both the size and scope of future US assistance. Our hope is that you reach a sustainable peace, and our goal is an enduring partnership.”

Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah met with Mohammad Sadiq Khan, Pakistan’s special envoy, who called the start of the talks a “positive and historical” development and confirmed Pakistan’s support for Afghan peace, said Abdullah on social media.

Peace talks between the Taliban and the delegation representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan began in Qatar on Saturday with officials from many nations and international organizations attending or speaking virtually at the opening ceremony.

Officials from Qatar, the US, Norway, Turkmenistan, China, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Germany, Pakistan, India, Iran, Spain, Finland, UK, Japan, the UN, NATO And the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) gave opening remarks.

Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in his opening remarks said that there will be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Khalilzad: US Will Safeguard Afghan People’s Interest in Talks