Civil society leaders invited to Bonn conference: US
US Ambassador Ryan Crocker, addressing a media briefing in Kabul, characterised the creation of civil society in Afghanistan as a huge achievement. Civil society helped promote democracy in each country, he said.
With civil society leaders invited to the event, he said the Taliban militants would have no representation at the important gathering on Dec. 5. "There is no question of Taliban's participation in the Afghan-led conference, to be hosted by Germany."
On June 18, President Hamid Karzai warned of staying away if Afghans were invited in groups to the event. A decade back, he recalled, several Afghan factions had taken part in the Bonn Conference. This time around, Karzai said his administration would represent the entire country.
Despite continuing suicide attacks, the overall security situation had considerably improved this year in Kabul, Kandahar and Helmand provinces, the ambassador believed.
"Incapable of face-to-face fighting with Afghan security forces, the Taliban are conducting suicide assaults in a sign of growing weakness," Crocker remarked.
The militants who laid down their weapons and recognised the Afghan constitution could join the reconciliation campaign, the envoy said, adding the US-Afghan-Pakistan Core Group that met in Islamabad on Tuesday had reiterated the peace offer to fighters.
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