US welcomes reconciliation in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (PAN):The Obama Administration on Tuesday appeared to be cautiously welcome to the Taliban move to open its office in Qatar, without issuing statements in direct support of such a development.
While the White House said it welcomes any move that would result in political reconciliation in Afghanistan, the State Department argued that no peace talks is possible in a region of conflict without the parties having a political address.
“We have seen in many other conflict situations that you have to have a political address if you're going to begin a political conversation. The Afghans themselves have said that they are frustrated that the Taliban do not have a political address. That's what the Loya Jirga called for. That's also what President Karzai said that he would support in the statements on the 27th of December. But it's obviously up to them to work it out,” the State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference.
About Taliban statement that they agreed to open an office in Qatar, she said that they were not aware of any former decision or announcement by Taliban, but they were ready to support a process that the Afghans support.
The White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, stressed the importance of political reconciliation.
According to Obama’s speech in June, the peace could not come to Afghanistan without a political settlement. Going back to his speech at West Point, the President had made clear that US would support and participate in Afghan-led reconciliation efforts, Carney said.
“We have always said that Taliban reconciliation would only come on the condition of breaking from al-Qaida, abandoning violence and abiding by the Afghan constitution, and that remains the case. This is about US support for an Afghan-led process,” he said.
“We welcome any step that -- along the road here of an -- of the Afghan-led process towards reconciliation, mindful of the fact that the standards for reconciliation have not changed, and the conditions, rather, that insurgents who are willing to lay down their arms and reconcile must meet in order to be accepted by the Afghan government and by us,” Carney said.
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