Dobbins to join Kerry in Doha, no word on US-Taliban talk

Last Updated: Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 08:50

Washington: US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins has left for Doha to join the Secretary of State John Kerry in his talks with the Qatari officials, but there is no official word yet on the US-Taliban direct talks.

"He will join Secretary`s bilateral meeting with the Qatar officials, and that`s part of our bilateral agenda, but in terms of direct meetings with the Taliban, I don`t have anything to announce at this time," the State Department spokesman, Patrick Ventrell, said yesterday.

He clarified that Kerry would not be meeting with the Taliban representatives.
"Secretary will not be meeting with the Taliban. It would be at Ambassador Dobbins`s level or on his team. Kerry will hold bilateral talks with London 11 `Friends of Syria` group," he said.

Ventrell added that US want Afghans to talk to Afghans.

"That`s what the point of this reconciliation is and what we`re working toward. We separately have some issues to discuss with the Taliban, principally among them the safe return of US soldier Sergeant Bergdahl. We continue to think that he needs to come home as soon as possible," he said.

"But in terms of reconciliation and Afghans talking to Afghans, that`s really what the point of this political office is in Doha, and we want to get that on track," he said.


First Published: Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 08:50
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