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US hopes security pact to be inked in October

US hopes security pact to be inked in October

Sep 17, 2013 - 09:33

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): The Obama administration is hopeful of concluding the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with Afghanistaninfo-icon in October, a top American diplomat said on Monday.

“We're hoping the agreement can be reached sometime in October, and we're reasonably optimistic that it will be,” Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistaninfo-icon James Dobbins told reporters here. Negotiations on BSA are currently being held in Kabulinfo-icon.  

Responding to questions from foreign journalists, Dobbins said efforts made toward peace talks with the Talibaninfo-icon in Doha were a failure and that the insurgents were in no mood to hold talks with the US.

“The Taliban are now, as a practical matter, unwilling to engage with the United States, with the Afghans, with anybody.  And we're not sure when they'll emerge from this,” the diplomat observed.

However, he added Washington would like to see that dialogue initiated, a dialogue which would involve the US and Taliban directly. In parallel, the Taliban and the Afghan government or its High Peace Councilinfo-icon should also be involved.

“The Taliban don't seem to be ready for that for the moment. We're not giving up. We continue to hope there will be a positive development at some point, but we can't predict when,” Dobbins continued.

The diplomat said the US was working closely with Afghanistan's neighbours - most notably Pakistan, in an effort to secure regional support for the country’s stabilisation and regional economic integration.

Dobbins supported the Afghan-led peace process, which would involve negotiation between the High Peace Council and the Taliban. “The United States supports that. The United States has sought its own contacts with the Taliban in order to reinforce that message with them. 

“Pakistan has also been helpful in this regard. I think Pakistan has also, particularly over the last six months or so, become active in supporting an Afghan reconciliation process and urging the Afghan Taliban to participate in that process,” he continued.



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