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Eikenberry asks Taliban to join peace drive

Eikenberry asks Taliban to join peace drive

May 05, 2011 - 19:17

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Al Qaeda members are operating outside Afghanistaninfo-icon and Osama bin Osama's killing was a good opportunity for the Talibaninfo-icon to join the peace process, the US ambassador said on Thursday.

Drug traders and opponents of the government were behind instability in the country, Karl Eikenberry told a news conference in Kabul. "I should say senior Al Qaeda, Haqqani Networkinfo-icon and Taliban leaders have no bases in Afghanistan."

They were cooperating with the Afghan government's efforts at ending Al Qaeda operations, said the diplomat, who viewed the Saudi dissident's death as a boost to the peace drive in Afghanistan and efforts at regional stability.

Eikenberry believed the Al Qaeda chief's demise had created an opportunity for the Taliban to come to the negotiating table and renounce violence. The rebels should avail the chance of returning to the national mainstream, he reiterated.

About a recent trilateral meeting in Islamabad, US Special Representative Marc Grossman emphasised Pakistaninfo-icon's role in eliminating terrorism, the envoy said. Three-way cooperation in the war on terror in the present circumstances figured at the talks.

Bin Laden's hideaway in Abbottabad had raised questions and the US was seeking answers from Islamabad, the ambassador, who went on to renew America's commitment to stabilising Afghanistan.

Grossman would review long-term Afghan-US strategic partnership during his stay in Kabul, he said, insisting such ties were in the interests of both countries, and the region. The proposed partnership would spur Afghanistan's economic progress and political stability.



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