US Will Support Republic if Taliban Deny Peace: Khalilzad

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KABUL: US special envoy for Afghanistan’s reconciliation process, Zalmay Khalilzad has said that if the Taliban denied peace, the US will stand with Afghans supporting the Republic.
He made the statements after his return from his recent tour to Afghanistan and some regional countries including Uzbekistan, Qatar and Tajikistan.
In a tweet, Khalilzad said “If the Taliban do not choose peace, a future based on consensus and compromise, then we will stand with Afghans who strive to keep the Republic intact. Republic political unity is a must,” echoing a joint statement issued after his meeting in Berlin on Friday.
According to Khalilzad, there was a significant world peace consensus based on respect for a diplomatic settlement, an end to the conflict and denial of any military solution.
Afghan leaders from all sides of the conflict should take advantage of this opportunity to reach a political settlement to end their 40-year war, he said.
He went on to say that international consensus would not end with peace and that the world will continue to help Afghanistan as it reaches a new era.
In a statement, special envoys and special delegates from the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, NATO, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States stressed the importance of continued foreign support for Afghanistan’s National Defense and Security Forces, saying it would be important to ensure Afghanistan’s ability to protect itself against internal and external challenges.