Biden administration asks US negotiator with Taliban to stay on

On Monday, a US source said that President Joe Biden’s administration had extended Khalilzad’s mission.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said he has asked the US peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad to stay on.

“Yes, we have. We have asked him to continue the vital work” that he conducted during the Trump administration, Blinken told reporters at a briefing, as quoted by Reuters.

On Monday, a US source told TOLOnews that President Joe Biden’s administration had extended Khalilzad’s mission for an unspecific period of time.

The US source also said that the Biden administration started the assessment of the US-Taliban peace deal signed between the two sides in Doha on February 29, particularly the (secret) annexes to the agreement.

The assessment will be wrapped up in three weeks’ time, the source said.

New chapter in US and Washington ties

On Sunday, President Ashraf Ghani said that a new chapter has been opened in Kabul and Washington relations and that the United States sees Afghanistan fundamentally as a partner.

“A new chapter has been opened in our ties with our main partner the United States and it will continue,” President Ghani said at a cabinet meeting on Monday. “Our relations will be at the level of government-to-government.”

Ghani stressed that the United States is reviewing the agreement it signed with the Taliban, and, after a review, the US government will consult Kabul on finding a joint roadmap for the agreement.

“A quick review of the US’s deal with the Taliban will be done by the US National Security Council and then a fundamental consultation will be done with us,” Ghani said.

On Friday, the United States National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with his Afghan counterpart NSA Hamdullah Mohib regarding the US commitment to the US-Afghan partnership and to peace for “all the people of Afghanistan,” according to a statement by the US National Security Council.

The Afghan government has in the past reacted cautiously with Khalilzad.

The Afghan peace negotiations that started on Sept. 12 last year have made progress in their procedural rules. They took a three-month break and resumed their talks on Jan. 6. However, the Afghan republic and the Taliban’s negotiators have not held any meetings over the last 13 days to discuss the agenda of the talks.

Experts said that the United States is expected to announce its stance on the Afghan peace process and the presence of NATO forces in Afghanistan at the ministerial meeting of the alliance next month.

Biden administration asks US negotiator with Taliban to stay on