Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad approaches the microphone to speak on the prospects for peace, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Trump's Afghan Envoy Intensifies Peace Efforts With Taliban

February 10, 2019 - 11:25 am
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The special U.S. envoy for Afghanistan is returning to the country after stops in Europe and the Middle East for an extended diplomatic tour aimed at pushing a Trump administration peace initiative.

The State Department says Zalmay Khalilzad (ZAHL'-may kah-LEEL'-zahd) will spend the rest of February traveling to Belgium, Germany, Turkey, Qatar (KUH'-tur), Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The department says the trip is intended "to facilitate a peace process that protects U.S. national security interests and brings all Afghan parties together" to help determine the country's future.

Khalilzad recently finished a similar trip during which his talks with the Taliban produced a tentative framework agreement. But he said last week that the negotiations are far from finished.

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