Sustainable peace remains our key goal: Ghani
CAMP DAVID (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Monday refrained from making any commitment on peace talks with the Taliban, as the United States extended its full support for an Afghan-led process.
“Sustainable peace is our goal. I’m not committing to any announcements and you will be pleased when it’s made,” Ghani told reporters at a news conference at the end of day-long of talks with top American leadership.
Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and other senior US officials met the visiting Afghan delegation at this presidential retreat.
On peace efforts, Kerry said the US believed the surest way to stability in Afghanistan and the region was for reconciliation to take place. “We believe that reconciliation should be Afghan-led, Afghan-structured, and we support the president’s very important, courageous effort to try to see if that reconciliation can take place. The United States will support that in every way that we possibly can.”
Kerry said there were three conditions for peace talks with the Taliban, who need to give up violence, sever any ties to the Al Qaeda terrorist network and to support the constitution of Afghanistan.
“Within that framework, the president and the government of Afghanistan have enormous latitude to work with the Taliban on defining that future. And as I said, President Obama is committed to doing everything possible to help support President Ghani, CEO Abdullah and the people of Afghanistan.”
Convinced that the passage of the Bilateral Security Agreement has created the flexibility for Obama to continue supporting the training and equipping of Afghan forces, he also referred to engagement with Pakistan and its reciprocity.
The announcement of support for keeping Afghan security forces at their peak strength of 352,000 through 2017 was a strong message to the Taliban and other violent groups that the US was prepared for long-term to support to Afghanistan, he said.
Ghani said enduring peace from strength would bring regional cooperation, and it was important that all regional actors translated their words of the need for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan into deeds. "We hope very much that the past will be overcome and the future will be different and would correspond to our vision,”
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