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US doesn't rule out Grossman-Taliban meetingBy Lalit K Jha Jan 18, 2012 - 13:50
WASHINGTON (PAN): US officials have indicated Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman will be meeting the Taliban's representatives, but the process will not be discussed publicly.
"I don’t think I want to rule it in or out," State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, told journalists at his daily news conference on Tuesday, when he was asked about reports that Grossman could meet the Taliban during his visit to Afghanistan.
"I don't know that we're going to be discussing those kinds of meetings going forward…I think we've been very clear that we support this Afghan-led process. The Secretary (of State) spoke to this very plainly and very clearly last week."
But he hastened to add: "I don’t know if we want to be giving a kind of a play by play of who he's meeting with…"
In Ankara, Grossman expressed appreciation for Turkey's strong support for Afghanistan, including the hosting of the Istanbul Conference November 2. Toner praised Turkey's efforts to achieve a secure and stable Afghanistan within a secure and stable region.
In Riyadh, he held meetings at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs with various officials and expressed appreciation for Riyadh's efforts to build a better, stronger and more stable Afghanistan.