Reconciliation only path for Afghanistan to achieve peace: US
Last Updated: Saturday, July 20, 2013, 11:51
  
Washington: The United States on Saturday said it believes that reconciliation is the only ultimate path forward for Afghanistan to achieve peace, as Washington asked Taliban to decide how it wants to move forward on the peace talks.

"We absolutely believe that reconciliation is the only ultimate path forward for Afghanistan to achieve peace. Afghans have to have these negotiations with Afghans," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

"The Doha office is a means by which that process could move forward, but the Taliban has to decide that it wants to move forward. If they do not, then we will continue to look for avenues and means for pursuing reconciliation, but ultimately the Taliban have to decide to make that choice themselves," he said in response to a question.

"As a long-term proposition, reconciliation is essential, and that is something we share with the Afghan government, and we will be strong partners with the Afghan government going forward in that effort. But the Taliban have to decide to participate and under the conditions that we've discussed," Carney said.

A State Department spokesperson also said that the US was committed to a peaceful, democratic, and united Afghanistan.

"I would say that our position on Afghanistan has been clear and has not changed, that we are committed to a peaceful, democratic, and united Afghanistan," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters.

"But obviously, clearly we have some more work to do."

Formal negotiations on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), which was suspended by Kabul last month continues to be the same, she said.

"Formal negotiations have been suspended. We continue informal discussions with the Afghans on a bilateral security agreement. As the President said in January with President Karzai, we have two goals going forward. These discussions are going to be part of what that looks like post 2014," she said.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, July 20, 2013, 11:51


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