White House supports Afghan Peace process

White House has thrown its weight behind the re-launched peace process in Afghanistan that involves talks with the Taliban.

Last Updated: Oct 15, 2010, 10:54 AM IST

Washington: White House has thrown its
weight behind the re-launched peace process in Afghanistan
that involves talks with the Taliban, but insisted that there
will be no compromise on its basic principles.

"We understand that there`s certainly a political
dimension to ending the war in Afghanistan, as there was in
Iraq, and as we`ve seen and we`re likely to see in conflicts
that are not going to involve the entire defeat or surrender
of and the signing of documents on the deck of the
battleship," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told
reporters.

He said the process, as the President had said, would
be Afghan-led so that those seeking to come back into the fold
of life in Afghanistan must renounce violence, abide by the
Afghan constitution and break from al Qaeda.

"These talks that are happening at a time in which you
have heard General (David) Petraeus (Commander of NATO and US
forces in Afghanistan) discuss the tempo of our operations in
Afghanistan. The tempo has never been higher. We have the most
resources that we`ve ever had in the country, and the tempo of
those operations also has never been higher," he said.

He said there was a political element to an ultimate
solution in Afghanistan and it was appropriate for the US to
provide support for an Afghan-led effort to do just that.

"I think this is new press for a continuation, to be
totally honest with you. Reconciliation and reintegration have
been topics that have been discussed for many, many months,"
Gibbs said in response to a question.

"I think our hope is that those who once sought refuge
in the Taliban will renounce their membership, renounce
violence, break off from al Qaeda, and adhere to the laws and
the constitution of Afghanistan. That would represent in any
form a positive development in the history of that country,"
he said.

He said though there was an Afghan-led effort to peace
process, US still had its operational goals that were being
fulfilled by General Petraeus and his troops on the ground.

State Department spokesman P J Crowley said that the
peace talks represent execution of the US strategy which it
share with other national partners, and most importantly, with
the Government of Afghanistan.

"Our strategy has both a military and a civilian
component. And within civilian component, we recognise that
not always but insurgencies frequently are resolved not by
military means alone, but a combination of military means and
a viable political process. It`s incorporated in our strategy.

We are following that strategy," he said.

PTI