Senate briefing: Afghan talks official discusses Minsk agreement, security agreement

Zalmay Khalilzad, who was recently tapped to oversee Afghan negotiations with the Taliban, spoke to Democratic and Republican senators, as well as embassy officials, during a two-day visit to the U.S. Senate. His discussions focused on the bilateral security agreement and Afghan electoral reforms. Here are some excerpts from the briefing.

On the Minsk accords:

“Khalilzad urged leaders in Kabul to sign an agreement that shows the country’s resolve to keep its commitment to the Minsk agreement, or to abandon it altogether.”

On the announcement from both sides that they would not consider a U.S. troop presence:

“Today, of course, the Taliban announced that they’re also not going to consider a U.S. presence in Afghanistan. What has always remained is a question of the level of the U.S. presence.”

On the U.S. Embassy in Kabul:

“There’s a new approach here. They need to hear that message, then they can say to me, ‘OK, now what? What are you proposing to us to actually achieve the goals we’re striving for?’”

On the prospects for a political solution to the war in Afghanistan:

“The conditions are ripe for such a political process. We have just a few months to work in.”

Watch the clip below:

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