U.S. Special Envoy, Top EU Diplomat Discuss Taliban Deal With Re-Elected Afghan President

U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and re-elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met on February 19 to discuss a U.S. deal with Taliban militants on a seven-day reduction in violence.

Ghani the previous day was declared the winner of a hotly contested presidential poll, the outcome of which was rejected by his main rival, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

Ghani’s office released a statement saying he and the U.S. diplomat had held “effective” meetings with local leaders on how the Afghan government would handle the peace process to eventually end the nearly two-decade war.

Likewise, Josep Borrell, the European Union’s chief diplomat, congratulated Ghani on retaining the presidency while pushing for an “inclusive peace process” in a phone call the same day.

Borrell “stressed the priority will now be to ensure unity in support of an