Make up mind on peace drive, White House asks Taliban
WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States would look for other avenues of peace if the Taliban did not join the reconciliation process, the White House said on Friday, pushing the ball firmly into the insurgents' court.
“We have said all along we absolutely believe that reconciliation is the only ultimate path forward for Afghanistan to achieve peace. Afghans have to have these negotiations with Afghans,” the White House press secretary said.
Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference the Doha office was a means by which that process could move forward, but the Taliban had to decide that they wanted progress.
"If they don't, then we will continue to look for other avenues and means for pursuing reconciliation, but ultimately the Taliban have to decide to make that choice themselves,” he told a questioner.
As a long-term proposition, reconciliation was essential and that was something the US shared with the Afghan government, he continued. But the Taliban had to decide to participate in the peace drive under the conditions that they had discussed, Carney stressed.
Meanwhile a senior administration official told reporters from the US perspective, India was an essential partner in a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
“India’s role in Afghanistan has been characterised by a number of different features. One would be its important role as a development partner and in supporting economic development in Afghanistan ... ” the official said.
“It is also very clear from our perspective in our consultations with the Indians we share the view an Afghan-led process that results in a democratic, peaceful and stable Afghanistan is the core outcome..."
Vice President Joe Biden, in his trip to India next week, will convey the US view that the necessary outcomes of any Afghan-led process that involves the Taliban has to be breaking with al Qaeda, renouncing violence and abiding by the terms of the Afghan constitution.
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