US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad (file photo)
US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad (file photo)

Washington: Congressmen ask Khalilzad to testify on US-Taliban deal

ANI | Updated: Sep 06, 2019 17:27 IST

Washington [United States], Sept 6 (ANI): A United States Congressional committee on Thursday asked US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to appear as a witness on the US-Taliban deal which is "agreed in principle".
In a letter to the Special Envoy, Congressman Eliot Engel, who is Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs, called on the State Department to stop resisting the peace deAL and to send the special representative to testify later this month, TOLO news reported.
"I am calling this hearing so that Congress and the American people will have the long-overdue opportunity to understand the contours of your negotiations with the Taliban and the potential risks and opportunities that may result," Engel said in his letter.
Engel further claimed that Khalilzad had not responded to his previous two requests in this regard.
"I understand your team has established a framework agreement with the Taliban, and that a copy of this agreement has been disseminated among officials in the Trump Administration and shared with President Ghani's government," he said.
"Similarly, the American and Afghan people deserve to know what the Administration's diplomatic strategy is for Afghanistan. Your testimony will help inform Members and provide necessary transparency regarding the Administration's Afghanistan strategy," the letter read.
"After nearly two decades of war, we all want to see the fighting in Afghanistan come to an end. But we want to make sure we are negotiating peace and not simply a withdrawal," he said.
The agreement states that the US will withdraw 5,000 troops from five bases within 135 days, according to Khalilzad.
The incident comes days after US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad briefed the Afgan government on an agreement that was reached 'in principle' with the Taliban to end nearly two decades old war. (ANI)