Zalmay Khalilzad heads to Qatar to press Taliban for end to offensive

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Washington (Web Desk): The United States envoy on Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, “will press the Taliban to stop their military offensive” at talks in Qatar’s capital this week, says the State Department.

“Ambassador Khalilzad will be in Doha to help formulate a joint international response to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan,” the department said in a statement.

The State Department said that several planned rounds of meetings were scheduled over three days to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

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 recognise a government imposed by force”.

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

On Monday, the Taliban announced that it had captured a sixth provincial capital in Afghanistan in four days.