Khalilzad says Ghani's fleeing ruined last-minute deal with Taliban

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US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad.

Kabul [Afghanistan], September 17 (ANI): US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Thursday that Former president Ashraf Ghani's escape from Afghanistan in mid-August ruined a last-minute deal with the Taliban.

Khalilzad said in an interview with the Financial Times that Ghani was to remain at his post until there was a political settlement in Qatar, even if the Taliban stood at Kabul's doors, reported Tolo News.

According to Khalilzad, the plan was to keep Kabul out of the Taliban's hands and negotiate a political transition.

But Ghani's escape created a power vacuum and the Taliban entered the city, the Financial Times reported.

"Even at the end, we had an agreement with the Talibs for [them] not to enter Kabul," Khalilzad said.

According to Khalilzad, Ghani's fleeing caused Kabul security personnel to abandon their posts and resulted in the Taliban entering the city to take security, reported Tolo News.

Former president Ashraf Ghani fled the country on August 15 after the Taliban reached the outskirts of Kabul.

However, Ghani in a statement he posted on Twitter after leaving the country said he fled to prevent further bloodshed. (ANI)

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