US stresses Pakistan's role in Afghan peace
Addressing a news conference at the US embassy in Kabul, Special Envoy Marc Grossman said Pakistan's role in dealing with the insurgency in Afghanistan was crucial.
While emphasising a smooth security transition from NATO-led troops to Afghan forces, he believed regional countries, particularly Pakistan could play a key role in a political settlement of the problem in Afghanistan.
In order to bring peace and stability to the Central Asian country, Pakistan should step up efforts to eradicate insurgent hideouts on its soil, said Grossman, who was appointed as US special envoy in mid-February after Richard Holbrooke's death.
Currently on a swing through the region that has already taken him to London and Jeddah, the veteran diplomat identified success in the war on terror, support for the peace process and the security handover to Afghan forces as his top priorities in Afghanistan.
He made clear the US did not want to have a permanent military presence in Afghanistan but remained committed to long-term cooperation with the ally.
During his trip to Jeddah, Grossman attended the International Contact Group (ICG) meeting and met key US partners and allies. The first ICG meeting of 2011 was hosted by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
From Kabul, he is scheduled to fly to Islamabad for talks with Pakistani officials and civil society members. His visit will conclude with a stop in Brussels, where he will meet NATO leadership.
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