Kazakh president meets US special representative on Afghan peace

Prospects of Kazakh-US strategic partnership amid NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan discussed.

Kazakh president meets US special representative on Afghan peace

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Monday discussed with Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for reconciliation in Afghanistan, prospects of an "enhanced" bilateral relationship amid the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the war-torn country.

Tokayev received Khalilzad, who arrived in Kazakhstan on a working visit.

"They discussed the prospects for the development of the Kazakh-US enhanced strategic partnership in the context of ensuring security and stability in Afghanistan, including in the light of the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from this country," a statement by the Kazakhstan presidency said.

“This year we are marking the 30th anniversary of our Independence ... the United States is a strong partner of Kazakhstan. We are good partners in so many areas, including trade and economic cooperation,” President Tokayev said.

Khalilzad expressed gratitude to Tokayev for the opportunity to meet in person and praised his role aimed at restoring stability in Afghanistan.

He shared his assessments of the current situation in Afghanistan, and US efforts on the intra-Afghan peace process, which is ongoing in Qatar since last December but has made little progress. The talks between the government in Kabul and the Taliban are aimed at ending the 19-year-long war, and decide on the road map for post-war Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden has announced that all US forces would withdraw from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, and NATO allies are following suit. Since then, there has been a surge in violence across the country.

According to the United States Central Command, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is more than half done.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that allies are in an ongoing dialogue over the situation in Afghanistan.


Hüseyin Demir