November 18, 2018 / 10:23 AM / 8 months ago

U.S. peace envoy hopes for deal with Taliban in 2019 -media

KABUL, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan hopes to cement a peace deal with Taliban insurgents by April 2019, local media reported on Sunday.

The U.S. envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, who is in Kabul to lead talks between the United States, the Taliban and the Afghan government, told local reporters that “he hopes a peace deal is reached before April 20 next year”.

Afghanistan is planning to hold presidential elections on April 20, 2019.

The Afghan-born U.S. diplomat said he remains “cautiously optimistic” and “hopeful” about the talks. (Reporting by Rupam Jain, Abdul Qadir Sediqi, Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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