World Powers Look to End Afghan Crisis
Washington on Monday announced it will send its special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, to Thursday’s peace conference in Moscow, as the United States, Russia, Pakistan and China will look to reach an agreed-upon resolution to the ongoing conflict in Kabul. The summit, which also will be attended by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Taliban officials, will “complement all other international efforts to support the Afghanistan peace process,” a State Department spokesperson said. A similar meeting, sponsored by the US and hosted by Turkey, is planned for April, as world powers have apparently tired of the futile yearlong negotiations in Doha between the two warring parties. The White House has proposed forming an interim government, made of Taliban and current government representatives, which would replace Ghani’s existing rule, pass a new constitution and hold parliamentary and presidential elections. Both the Taliban and Ghani himself have rejected the idea. Under the deal reached last year between former President Donald Trump and the Taliban, the US must withdraw its remaining 2,500 troops stationed in Afghanistan by May 1, a move that NATO, Kabul and US officials warn may lead to a total unraveling of the war-torn country.