Afghanistan envoy briefs skeptical lawmakers on peace talks


WASHINGTON (AP) – Special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad (ZAHL’-may kah-LEEL’-zahd) has been met with skepticism on Capitol Hill as he briefed lawmakers on peace talks with the Taliban aimed at ending the 17-year war.

Lawmakers were tight-lipped as they left the classified meeting, but the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Jim Risch of Idaho, says he believes Khalilzad is making progress.

However, Risch adds, “the issue always is how much progress and can you get to the finish line.”

Khalilzad was appointed to lead peace talks with the Taliban by the Trump administration in September 2018. Since then he has held several rounds of talks with mixed results.

The conflict in Afghanistan has cost 2,400 American lives and hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars.