US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad held talks with Turkish officials, including Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and Ibrahim Kalin, a senior advisor to Turkish president, during his visit to Turkey on Thursday as part of a multi-nation trip on Afghan peace.
According to Turkey’s aa.com, Khalilzad and Kalin discussed the ongoing negotiation process and latest developments in Afghanistan, solidarity and political stability.
The two highlighted the importance of deep-rooted historical and cultural ties, friendship and brotherhood between Turkey and Afghanistan in providing lasting peace and sustainable stability and security environment in Afghanistan.
Turkey’s role and efforts in Afghanistan’s national peace process and reestablishing stability were also discussed.
Hours after his meeting, Khalilzad said in a tweet that he met Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal and Ibrahim Kalin, an advisor to Turkish president.
“Turkey has a deep, rich relationship with #Afghanistan. Turkey is considering what it can do to facilitate the current peace process,” he tweeted.
Khalilzad told TOLOnews on Monday that the integration of a strong and unified negotiating team under Afghan government’s umbrella is needed for achieving a breakthrough in the strides for peace in Afghanistan, but he rejected rumors that the talks had hit a deadlock.
He said he did not have direct contacts with the Taliban since his last meeting with them in Doha, Qatar, last month, and that the Taliban delegation said at the time that they will talk about these issues with their leadership.
This comes as the next round of Qatar talks is expected to be held on Monday – Feb. 25.