KABUL: U.S. envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has left for Turkey days before the Istanbul Summit on Afghan peace.
Khalilzad embarked on the trip on Thursday in an attempt to encourage the warring parties to expedite peace talks.
In a statement on Saturday, the U.S. State Department said: “He will engage the two sides on their preparatory efforts for talks on a political settlement that produces a permanent ceasefire and a durable and just peace.”
The diplomat will also consult with stakeholders to discuss how the region and the international community could help the warring parties reach an agreement.
The summit on the Afghan peace process, sponsored by the U.S., is scheduled for next month in Istanbul. The event will be attended by officials from the United Nations, United States, Russia, China, and other countries, besides the Afghan government and Taliban delegations.
This is while the Taliban have threatened to relaunch attacks on international troops if they remain in Afghanistan past the May 1 deadline stipulated in their deal with the Trump administration last year.
On Thursday, the U.S. president indicated that reaching the troop withdrawal deadline would be challenging for his administration.