Khalilzad to meet with the Taliban this month
The U.S. envoy for Afghan peace will meet with the Taliban this month during an international trip to promote peace talks, officials announced Saturday. The State Department said that Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad will travel to Afghanistan, Belgium, Germany, Pakistan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates through June 16, noting that he will meet with Taliban officials in Doha.
“I’m disappointed Qatar’s intra-Afghan initiative has been delayed. We’re in touch with all parties and encouraged that everyone remains committed to dialogue and the #AfghanPeaceProcess,” Khalilzad tweeted at the time. “Dialogue is and always will be key to a political roadmap and lasting peace. There is no alternative. I urge all sides to seize the moment and put things back on track by agreeing to a participant list that speaks for all Afghans. I stand ready to help if our help is needed,” he added. (2/2) Dialogue is and always will be key to a political roadmap and lasting peace. There is no alternative. I urge all sides to seize the moment and put things back on track by agreeing to a participant list that speaks for all Afghans. I stand ready to help if our help is needed — U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad (@US4AfghanPeace) April 18, 2019
Helmand Peace Marchers Enter Taliban Area
Helmand peace marchers, who started a long walk from government-controlled provincial capital Lashkargah to Taliban controlled Mosa Qala, has entered Taliban controlled area in Gerishk, and has another 70 kilometres to reach Mosa Qala. The group is comprised of more than 30 people and were warmly welcomed by locals in Gerishk, where some locals have vowed to join their walk to Mosa Qala. Helmand Peace marchers emerged in June of 2018 after an explosion near a sports stadium killing and wounding dozens of civilians. The peace marchers opted a walk to Mosa Qala back then but they were not welcomed by the Taliban instead they walked nearly 700 kilometers to the Afghan capital, Kabul. So far they have not been stopped and the marchers who they will be welcomed in Mosa Qala. They are now demanding ceasefire during Eid days.
Three Successive Explosions in Kabul City
At least one person has been killed and several others injured in three successive explosions in the capital, Kabul. The explosions happened in the west of Kabul city PD5 Selo-Kotai Sangi road. Officials said the first blast had targeted a bus carrying a group of university students. A nearby shopkeeper was killed and ten others injured. The first blast was a sticky bomb which targeted a University student’s mini-bus. The second IED was planted under a culvert close to the first explosion site. The secondary IED was detonated remotely aiming to target ANSF and those rushing to help out the causalities of the explosions. Among those wounded was an Afghan journalist who appeared to have been reporting the aftermath of the first explosion. Five security personnel were among those injured. The Islamic State group said it had carried out the attacks.