US backs Karzai’s reconciliation effortsBy Lalit K Jha Feb 23, 2012 - 13:50
WASHINGTON (PAN): Supporting the reconciliation process initiated by President Hamid Karzai, the State Department has said the US will step away from the talks as they progress.
“We want to see Afghan-to-Afghan talks go forward. So, we are supportive of President Karzai’s efforts,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. The US, he added, had been consulting with the Karzai government throughout the process.
“We want to, at some point, step away from this and have it be an Afghan to Afghan reconciliation process,” Toner said in response to a question. However, he explained there had been no change in the red lines for talks with the Taliban.
“We’ve been very clear about our red lines and, indeed, the Afghan government’s red lines for those Taliban who would participate in any reconciliation process,” the spokesman remarked.
“So the groups that we’re talking about, that the secretary raised her concerns about operating in Pakistan, are very clearly not part of this process and not interested. They’re carrying out violent attacks against Afghans and also international entities in Afghanistan,” Toner concluded.