Kerry allays Karzai’s anger over Taliban office
WASHINGTON (PAN): US Secretary of State John Kerry called Afghan President Hamid Karzai twice in the past 24 hours to ease his anger over the way the Taliban announced the opening of their political office in Qatar.
State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Kerry called Karzai and that Qatar issued a statement saying it’s the Political Office of the Afghan Taliban not the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Karzai was upset that the Taliban used its formal name — the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan — making it look like a parallel institution to his government. Karzai also halted negotiations with the US on a future bilateral security agreement.
“The secretary spoke with President Karzai last night and again this morning and reiterated the fact that we do not recognise the name Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” Psaki told reporters in Washington.
“He noted that the government of Qatar has taken steps today to ensure that the political office is in compliance with the conditions established by the government of Qatar for its operations”.
“Just to reiterate, in January, President Karzai and President Obama jointly called on the government of Qatar to facilitate an office in Doha for the purposes of negotiations between the Afghan High Peace Council and the authorised representatives of the Taliban. The US supports, as you all know, the opening of the political office of the Afghan Taliban for this purpose,” she said at the top of her briefing.
Psaki said an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process is the surest way to end violence and ensure lasting stability in Afghanistan and the region.
The US supports a peaceful, democratic and unified Afghanistan, she said, adding that the US remain committed to peace and reconciliation and remain prepared to negotiate with Afghanistan to conclude a BSA that supports our shared objectives.
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