Sat, 24 Aug 2019

The Taliban has denied reports that it is prepared to resume talks with U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on ending Afghanistans 17-year war.

Pakistani media had reported that a meeting in Islamabad was possible following talks in the Pakistani capital between Khalilzad and senior Pakistani officials, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, on January 18.

However, the Taliban ruled it out on January 19.

'We wanted to make it clear that we will not hold any meeting with Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad,' Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement.

Khalilzad arrived in Islamabad on January 17 and met Imran Khan as well as the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi and other officials.

Khalilzad was named by the Trump administration four months ago as a special envoy to negotiate peace.

The Afghan-born Khalilzad is a veteran U.S. diplomat. He served as President George W. Bush's ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations.

Based on reporting by Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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