US hopes all sections will participate in 2014 Afghan polls

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 09:47

Washington: The United States on Tuesday said it hopes that all sections in Afghanistan would take part in next year`s Presidential Elections, also hinting at the Taliban`s participation.

While the US official did not specifically mention Taliban, such a statement could be interpreted as it favouring the Taliban`s participation in the 2014 Afghan presidential elections.

"The United States supports transparent, credible and inclusive Afghan elections and has a strong interest in providing technical support to help achieve this outcome," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
"We encourage all Afghans, men and women, to participate as candidates, voters and election administrators, observers, to ensure their representation in these important democratic institutions," she said responding to a question on the statement issued by Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader.

"We have seen that statement. We are aware of Mullah Omar`s recent message to the Afghan people commenting on elections," Psaki said, adding the US did not agree with the characterisation of Mullah Omar that the Taliban is winning the war.

"We certainly would not. He also said in his message that the Taliban believe in reaching understanding with the Afghans regarding an Afghan-inclusive government. That`s obviously the goal we`ve long had," she said.

"We encourage all Afghans, men and women, to participate as candidates, voters and election administrators, observers, to ensure their representation in these important democratic institutions," she said responding to a question on the statement issued by Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader.

"We have seen that statement. We are aware of Mullah Omar`s recent message to the Afghan people commenting on elections," Psaki said, adding the US did not agree with the characterisation of Mullah Omar that the Taliban is winning the war.

"We certainly would not. He also said in his message that the Taliban believe in reaching understanding with the Afghans regarding an Afghan-inclusive government. That`s obviously the goal we`ve long had," she said.

She noted that it was a long-time goal of the US that Afghanistan should not be used as a ground against any foreign country.

"Well, that has certainly been our view in the past. But again, I think our focus here is on encouraging steps for the elections next year. We`re very supportive of those, and we hope all will participate," Psaki said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - 09:46

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