US endorses Chequers Afghanistan Summit
Washington: The United States has endorsed the joint statement issued by leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Britain at the just concluded Chequers summit where the three countries asked Taliban to join the peace process.
"We fully endorse the contents of the joint statement that those three governments came forward with, and we are committed ourselves to support an Afghan-led process," the State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference yesterday.
Referring to the meeting between the US President Barack Obama, and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai at the White House early January, Nuland said the two leaders reaffirmed that an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process is the surest way to end the violence and ensure lasting stability in Afghanistan and in the region.
"We believe that the UK-Afghanistan-Pakistan Chequers summit that occurred this weekend, was clearly an advance in this process," she said in response to a question.
"Our goal here has been to support the creation of a process to make it possible, both in the work that we're doing with the Afghan Government, the work that we're doing with the Government of Pakistan and the three of us together through the core group, and our support for the opening of the office in Qatar under the right circumstance, to make it possible for willing Taliban participants to talk directly to the Afghan High Peace Council," Nuland said.
"That's what we're looking for, and we call on the Taliban to take the steps necessary to open the office in Doha and to enter into real dialogue with the High Peace Council. The goal for everybody should be an inclusive political order in a strong, unified, sovereign Afghanistan," the US official said.