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Khalilzad renews call to agree on Afghanistan's political settlement

<p id="content">US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has again called on Afghan political leaders and the Taliban to agree on a peaceful settlement of the country's 40-year-old and avoid repeating "past mistakes."</p>
Khalilzad held talks with the negotiating team of the Taliban in Doha on Thursday after he arrived the Qatari capital almost three weeks following the inauguration ceremony of Afghanistan's peace negotiations, TOLO News reported.

"The fact that the Afghans are sitting across the table for the first time in 42 years is a moment of hope and opportunity," Khalilzad in an interview on Friday.

Both Afghanistan and the US must avoid the mistakes of the 1990s, he added.

The envoy's remarks came after the Taliban said that it does not feel the need for a mediator for the Afghan peace negotiations.

In a statement on Thursday, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said that the Afghan conflict requires important, ongoing discussions, and stated that both sides of the negotiations should demonstrate patience for a positive outcome, TOLO News reported.

Contact groups comprising Taliban and Afghan government delegates have failed to fully agree on the procedural rules.

This delay has prolonged the time before an official face-to-face talk between both negotiation teams is possible..