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US peace envoy to Afghanistan in Beijing for meeting

BEIJING — The U.S. Embassy says the American peace envoy to Afghanistan is in Beijing for a previously scheduled meeting.

An embassy spokesman on Thursday gave no further details about the visit by Zalmay Khalilzad, but it comes just days after he said that for the first time he can report “substantive” progress on all four issues key to a peace agreement in Afghanistan’s 17-year war.

Khalilzad said the latest round of talks with the Taliban had been the “most productive” and had broadened to include a timeline for both intra-Afghan negotiations and a cease-fire.

China has hosted talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government and has substantial interests in the country’s mineral wealth, as well as in reducing the chances of instability flowing across the two countries’ narrow border.

The Associated Press