Khalilzad concludes ‘productive’ visit to Kabul ahead of conference

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has wrapped up a productive four-day visit to Kabul where he met with government and political leaders, civil society activists, and the diplomatic community to discuss preparations for the upcoming Istanbul conference.

In a statement issued by the US Embassy in Kabul, the mission said in each engagement, Khalilzad underscored the importance for both sides to accelerate the peace process.

He also re-affirmed the United States’ enduring partnership with Afghanistan.

In his meetings, Khalilzad stated that the full and meaningful participation of women and minorities in the peace talks is essential for any solution to be sustainable, in addition to emphasizing the critical role civil society members and youth groups have in representing the broader Afghan population.

In all his meetings Khalilzad was encouraged by the shared vision for an Istanbul conference that advances prospects for a just and durable peace in Afghanistan, the embassy’s statement read.

The US-proposed Istanbul Summit is expected to start on April 16 and will bring together a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives from the Afghan Republic and the Taliban.

The summit is expected to be led by the UN and will be hosted by Turkey.