US insists on Af-Pak joint efferts against Taliban
“The conclusion that we’ve drawn here is … that the Taliban poses a security threat to both countries, and that the nations of Afghanistan and Pakistan are going to be able to more effectively confront that threat if they're able to more effectively cooperate,” the White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, told reporters at his daily news conference.
The US, he said, has long been a supporter of the Afghan-led reconciliation process. In response to a question on the meeting that the Vice President Joe Biden had with the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Earnest said the US was hoping to facilitate better co-operation between the two South Asian neighbors.
“Any sort of decisions about how the continuation of those talks and any sort of agreement that could be produced by those talks about whether or not that's in the interest of those countries to pursue -- those are decisions that will be made by the leaders in those two countries, as it should be,” he said.
But certainly the US would continue to play the role that it has played for some time now in supporting reconciliation talks that were led by those individual countries.
While responding to another query, Earnest said the US forces in Afghanistan have two missions. The first was to conduct counterterrorism operations to target the remnants of Al-Qaeda and other terrorists, operating in that region. And a lot of that is to prevent any sort of resurgence by Al-Qaeda or other extremist groups that want to try to plot against the United States (US) or the homeland, he said.
“The other thing that we’ve obviously been focused on is supporting the Afghan government and trying to enhance their capability to provide for the security situation in their own country. And as a part of those missions, we’ve been pretty aggressive in taking terrorists and extremists in Afghanistan off the battlefield, both to protect the United States, but also to protect our men and women who are serving in Afghanistan,” he said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.