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US participated in Taliban talks as observer

US participated in Taliban talks as observer

Jul 16, 2015 - 10:56

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The United States participated as an observer in the recent talks between the Talibaninfo-icon and the Afghan Government in Pakistaninfo-icon, a State Department official said on Wednesday.

“At the invitations of the governments of Afghanistaninfo-icon and Pakistan, the US did send representatives to participate as observers in these talks,” the State Department Spokesperson, John Kirby, told reporters at his daily news conference.

 Responding to questions, Kirby said the Iranian deal is unlikely to change American role in Afghanistan. “Nothing is going to change about the United States' commitment to the people of Afghanistan,” he said.  

Noting that the US is no longer in a combat role in Afghanistan, he said the Afghan National Security Forces, who the United States spent nearly a decade training and advising, are now in the lead for security operations inside their country.

“That too, is a good outcome. And they're responding well and performing well,” Kirby said.

“But we still have Americans on the ground in Afghanistan. It is not a permanent presence. Eventually, that force posture will go down all the way to a more normal American presence, not just military, but a diplomatic footprint at the end of next year. We're going to normalize the security relationship with Afghanistan: also a good outcome,” the State Department spokesperson said.




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