Asia Pacific

Taliban say hopeful about new U.S. special envoy after Khalilzad leaves

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A member of the Taliban holds a flag in Kabul, Afghanistan June 16, 2018. The writing on the flag reads: 'There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah'. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

KABUL, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The new Taliban government said on Tuesday it hoped to build on the "good progress" made in talks with the former U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Zalmai Khalilzad and was optimistic about moving forward with his successor Tom West.

Khalilzad's departure as the top U.S. envoy for Afghanistan was announced on Monday, less than two months after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover of the country.

"We are optimistic about moving forward with the new representative Mr Tom West & full implementation of Doha Agreement will normalize relations between both governments," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said in a tweet.

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Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Alison Williams

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