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US to Taliban: Enter peace talks with Ghani administration

US to Taliban: Enter peace talks with Ghani administration

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May 19, 2016 - 12:52

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The United States on Wednesday urged the Talibaninfo-icon to come forward for direct talks with the government, which signed a peace deal with the Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistaninfo-icon (HIA).

“We continue to join President Ghani in calling on the Taliban to participate in direct peace talks. They have a choice now, and we hope they make the right choice now,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

At his daily news conference, Kirby said Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistaninfo-icon Richard Olson was attending the quadrilateral meeting on peace talks. “I’m not going to get ahead of outcomes here.

“But let me just stress again that we continue to support the Afghan government’s efforts to end the conflict though a peace and reconciliation process, a process that we have said time and time again must be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned,” Kirby said.

The spokesman said the United States welcomed the proposed peace agreement with HIA. “Hekmatyar is still a designated individual, but we welcome steps by the Afghan government to engage in talks with the HIG with respect to trying to end the violence,” he said.

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