US Envoy Khalilzad To Brief Lawmakers On Taliban Talks In Closed Session Thursday - Engel

US Envoy Khalilzad to Brief Lawmakers on Taliban Talks in Closed Session Thursday - Engel

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 19th September, 2019) US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad will testify before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in a closed session on Thursday, Chairman Eliot Engel said in a press release.

"After several days of negotiations with the State Department, we have reached an accommodation that will allow all members of the Foreign Affairs Committee to hear from Ambassador Khalilzad in a classified briefing tomorrow morning," Engel said in the release on Wednesday.

Engel said he withdrew a subpoena that was issued last week, which he sent after the State Department ignored requests for briefings by Khalilzad to update the panel on the Afghan peace plan. He deemed it critical after US President Donald Trump said peace talks with the Taliban are "dead."

Trump said US peace talks with the Taliban were "dead" after the group claimed responsibility for a Kabul attack that killed a US serviceman.

He even canceled a secret planned meeting with Taliban leaders and Afghan leaders on Sunday in Camp David.

The US and the Taliban have for nearly a year been attempting to negotiate a peace deal that would ensure the withdrawal of foreign troops in exchange for the movement's guarantee that the country will not become a safe haven for terrorists. The talks, however, excluded the Afghan government as the Taliban considers it a US puppet. The last round of talks in Doha finished on September 1. Khalilzad said that Washington and the Taliban were "at the threshold of an agreement."

Meanwhile, the Taliban have been ramping up attacks ahead of the Afghan presidential election slated to take place on September 28.

Your Thoughts and Comments