Washington [US], September 23 (ANI): US Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad on Tuesday (local time) urged the Afghan leaders to take advantage of the opportunity for a political settlement now available to them, for the ongoing peace process in Kabul.
Speaking before the US Foreign Relations Committee, Khalilzad said, "I have urged the Afghan leaders to take advantage of the opportunity for a political settlement now available to them. Unfortunately, Afghan leaders did not behave responsibly or judiciously after the Soviet forces departed their country as a result of a resistance movement that had been backed by the United States."
"Now, with an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process and delegations that represent the country's strength and diversity -- including the Afghan government, political leaders, members of civil society, women and religious and ethnic minorities -- the people of Afghanistan have reason to hope again," he added.
Over the ongoing peace negotiations, Khalilzad said the Afghan delegations from the parties to the conflict that are sitting across from each other without international mediators or facilitators have the opportunity to bring an end to more than 40 years of war in their country.
On the question of the comprehensive ceasefire, he added, "We hope that the negotiations will soon lead to a significant reduction in violence by all sides, reducing the number of Afghans getting killed or wounded. A reduction of violence will help build the trust necessary for talks to succeed."
Khalilzad further said going forward their strategy will be to "continue holding the Taliban to the commitments they made in the February 29; adjust our force posture consistent with the Agreement; support the parties' efforts to reach a negotiated political settlement, and continue to work with regional and international partners to build international support for Afghanistan Peace Negotiations."
Earlier, ahead of the US envoy's testimony, the Lower house of the Afghanistan Parliament had asked the US Foreign Relations Committee, to pose several questions to Zalmay Khalilzad, on the ongoing peace process in their country.
The remarks by the US Special representative came in the backdrop of ongoing negotiations in Doha. (ANI)