US to press Taliban to stop military offensive

New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS): The US State Department has said the increased tempo of Taliban military engagement in Afghanistan, resulting civilian casualities in armed conflict between the sides, and alleged human rights atrocities are of grave concern.

US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad left for Doha on Sunday, where he help formulate a joint international response to the rapidly deteriorating situation in the war-torn counyru.

In several planned rounds of meetings over three days, representatives from countries in the region and beyond as well as from multilateral organisations will press for a reduction of violence and ceasefire and a commitment not to recognize a government imposed by force.

He will press the Taliban to stop their military offensive and to negotiate a political settlement, which is the only path to stability and development in Afghanistan, the State Department said.

A negotiated peace is the only path to ending the war, and the US will continue to work with all parties and with regional and international stakeholders to advance a consensus on a political settlement.

Doha will host international meetings on the Afghanistan peace process from Tuesday to Friday.

The meetings are said to be attended by US, China, Pakistan, Russia, representatives from the N, and other mediators of the intra-Afghan talks.

Head of High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah and State minister in peace affairs Syed Saadat Mansoor Naderi have also arrived in Doha on behalf of the Kabul government.



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