`US aware of unofficial talks with Taliban in Maldives`

The Karzai Government has confirmed that there is no official participant.

Washington: The United States has said that it is aware of the unofficial talks between Taliban and Afghan representatives in Maldives, adding the Karzai Government has confirmed that there is no official participant from its side.

"The Afghan Government has told us that it is aware of the unofficial talks being reported today (Thursday), held in Maldives. And according to the Afghan Government, these talks do not include official representatives of the Government of Afghanistan," State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said at his daily news conference.

"We continue to support efforts by the Afghan Government to open the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect human rights of their fellow citizens," he said in response to a question.

Reiterating that reconciliation is a dimension of the Afghan Government strategy, Crowley said "Well, we`re not saying they`re a good thing or a bad thing. The real question is what comes out of this?"

The spokesman said that individuals who abandoned violence and cut their ties with al Qaeda are always welcome if they are willing to support the Afghan government.

"So whether there`s a meeting for a meeting`s sake, the real issue is what do groups as they work through the opportunity that the Afghan Government is offering for a different relationship with - and a different future in Afghanistan," Crowley said.

The State Department has insisted that neither the US government nor the Afghan government is involved in the talks.

"The real issue is from meetings like this, what are particular groups prepared to do? That`s what we will focus on," he said.

The State Department as of now is looking ahead to the consultative peace `Jirga` that the Afghan government would sponsor later this month.

"That`s the main event. And we`ll be guided by what comes out of that particular meeting," the official said.