Main dialogue between Taliban and Afghan Govt: US

Last Updated: Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 08:56

Washington: The US said main dialogue on the reconciliation process is between the Taliban and Afghan government but would have separate talks with it on some issues which America wants to discuss directly.

"The main dialogue that we support is the dialogue between Afghans, between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

"However, there are some issues that we would like to discuss with the Taliban directly, and that includes the safe return of (US soldier) Sergeant Bergdahl who has been gone for far too long," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday.

"We continue to call for and work toward his safe and immediate release, he added.

"With regard to the transfer of Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, the United States has not made the decision to do that, though we do expect the Taliban to raise this issue in our discussions if and when those discussions happen.

"As we have long said, however, we would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting with Congress and without doing so in accordance with US law," he said in response to a question.

Carney said the Taliban and Afghan security forces and coalition forces remain at war.

"And any process that would result in negotiations and efforts towards reconciliation is going to be fraught and difficult, and that is obviously going to be the case and is the case with the developments we`ve seen, which is the opening of an office in Qatar by the Taliban," he said.

"And we will continue to work with Afghan security forces as we engage in a military effort, even as we pursue this diplomatic effort," Carney said.

Acknowledging that the peace process would be difficult and tough, he said the US continues to pursue it.

"That`s how conflicts like this one come to an end, and that`s been true throughout history. It will probably continue to be difficult and run into obstacles, but we`ll continue to press it.

"There are other avenues to press for reconciliation beyond the office in Qatar.

But we will continue to pursue that avenue, as well as others, even as we pursue the military effort with Afghan security forces," Carney stressed.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 08:56

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