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PublishDate: Saturday, January 23, 2021 08:44

Biden to Keep Zalmay Khalilzad in Place for Now: Report

Quoting three sources familiar with the matter, CNN reports that the Biden administration will keep Zalmay Khalilzad, former President Trump’s top envoy for Afghanistan peace talks, in place for the time being.

Afghan voice agency (AVA)_The report says that this move is not typical. The report says that traditionally an incoming administration replaces politically appointed officials with their own team, particularly on foreign policy matters with such significance.

Keeping the negotiator in place, at least for now, demonstrates the 's initial commitment to maintaining adherence to the US-Taliban until the new team reviews it in detail and fully develops their own Afghanistan policy.

Khalilzad has been on the job for more than two years. His negotiations with the Taliban led to an agreement between the US and the group that was signed in February 2020.

is a diplomatic veteran, having served as a US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations. He is well known in foreign policy circles.

CNN says that the State Department did not comment when asked about Khalilzad staying on board.

During his confirmation hearing, Anthony Blinken, President Biden’s pick for secretary of State, reiterated ’s_commitment to ending the war in Afghanistan but indicated that he had not yet been briefed on the US-Taliban agreement in a detailed way, the report says.

Khalilzad was in Kabul this month where he met with Afghan politicians, including Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.

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