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US envoy launches new push on Afghan talks with Taliban

In this photo released by the Foreign Office, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry official Aftab Khokhar, right, escorts visiting Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, center, for talks at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, June 2, 2019.

PAKISTAN FOREIGN OFFICE VIA AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 10, 2019

ISLAMABAD — Renewed efforts are underway to jumpstart stalled peace talks with the Taliban as a U.S. envoy is in Kabul and Pakistani and Afghan officials are meeting in Islamabad.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad says he's holding meetings with Kabul officials on Monday, seeking to bring about a new round of Afghan-to-Afghan talks, which he describes as essential to resolving the country's nearly 18-year war.

The Taliban carry out near-daily attack, inflicting staggering casualties on Afghan forces, and now control about half of Afghanistan. Washington, meanwhile, has accelerated efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict and has been pressing for direct talks between the Taliban and Kabul.

Meanwhile, Afghan and Pakistani officials from a group tasked with finding ways to cooperate on diplomatic, military and intelligence-sharing are meeting in Islamabad.

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