Come to negotiating table or face action, US tells Taliban
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The United States on Monday warned terrorist groups, in particular the Taliban, their sanctuaries were not safe and it was better for them to join the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
“We will carry out strikes to remove terrorists who are actively pursuing, planning and directing attacks against US forces,” State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.
The air strike against Mullah Mansour on Saturday, he said, sent a clear message that those targeting Americans and Afghan people were not going to be given a safe haven. There was one option for the Taliban -- to pursue a peaceful resolution to the conflict, he remarked.
Mansour’s killing had not resulted in defeat of the Taliban, Toner said, adding: “No, by any means. I wouldn't say that … I think it does send is a clear message: If you're going to carry out attacks, if you're going to lead attacks against our forces and against Afghanistan's forces, then you are going to be targeted and you're not going to have safe haven.”
The Taliban must decide what their future was going to be, he stressed, asking the militants to make clear whether they were going to be part of a peaceful, political future for Afghanistan.
“There is a path towards that. They can sit down with the Afghan government and begin negotiations and talks. We've encouraged that. We support an Afghan-owned, Afghan led process,” he continued.
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