US special envoy calls for urgent reduction of violence in Afghanistan

The level of violence in Afghanistan is unacceptably high and too many Afghans are dying, the US special representative for Afghanistan said on Tuesday, ahead of flying to Doha to meet with the two sides involved in the intra-Afghan peace talks.

"Too many Afghans are dying. The sides urgently need an agreement on a reduction of violence leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire," said US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in a statement.

Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government's delegation have been going on in Doha since September, but progress has been slow and diplomats and officials have warned that rising violence in Afghanistan is sapping the trust required for successful negotiations.
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