US top envoy reacts over Afghan Taliban new statement jeopardising peace talks

KABUL - The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Saturday reacted to a comment by the Taliban on rejecting of his call for laying down their arms and stopping violence as part of efforts to move forward the ongoing peace process.

In a tweet on Friday, May 3, Khalilzad said that on the opening session in Qatar, he underscored to the Taliban that it is time to quit violence and embrace peace as it is a demand of Afghans, TOLO News has reported.

“In our opening session, I underscored to the Talibs that the Afghan people, who are their brothers and sisters, want this war to end. It is time to put down arms, stop the violence, and embrace peace,” Khalilzad said in the tweet.

However, a Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet in response to Khalilzad that “the US Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad should forget about the idea of putting down our arms, adding that instead of such “fantasies” he should drive the idea home about ending the use of force and incurring further human and financial losses for the Kabul administration”.

Khalilzad, who is holding the sixth round of talks with Taliban members in Qatar, responded to the comment on Saturday and said laying down arms is the outcome of any peace process.

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