US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has welcomed the announcements by the Afghan government and the Taliban to observe ceasefire on the occasion of Muslim festival Eid-ul-Fitr and said “violence has been horrific in recent weeks, and the Afghan people have paid the price,” reiterating that the United States stands with the people of Afghanistan.

Khalilzad said that Afghans need “a political settlement and a permanent ceasefire.”

He called for accelerated negotiations among Afghans on a political settlement and “an end to this senseless war. 

“This is what the Afghan people yearn for,” he added.

In an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel, published on Monday, Khalilzad said that the Afghan people are longing for peace and that there has to be peace and there is no better alternative.

“The Taliban spoke to the US and the European group in Berlin this week by video. They said they don’t see a military solution and say that the only option is a political one. Both sides have to be realistic about finding common ground. If there is no peace agreement, the alternative is not a Taliban victory. It is a long war,” he told the newspaper.


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