Zalmay: Hopes Afghan peace deal

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Zalmay Khalilzad, the US diplomat leading talks with the Taliban said yesterday he hoped to see a peace deal in place before Afghanistan’s presidential elections in July.

Khalilzad, who has spoken with the Taliban in recent weeks, stressed that any US troop withdrawal would depend on conditions on the ground, and not on any particular timetable.

He was participating in a discussion on “The Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan” at the US Institute of Peace in Washington.
The talks come as President Donald Trump pushes to end the Afghanistan conflict, where about 14,000 US troops are still deployed.

Khalilzad last week announced a “draft framework” for a peace deal, though he warned that major hurdles remain.

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