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Mattis sees scope for reconciliation with Taliban

Mattis sees scope for reconciliation with Taliban

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On
Sep 06, 2018 - 11:28

WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday said the US believed there was a way forward for the Talibaninfo-icon to reconcile in an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned reconciliation process.

Mattis told reporters travelling with him to India: “We do expect that we and the international community will support the Afghan government in this, in all ways.  And that neighboring countries will.”

Reiterating the ground rules, Mattis saw scope for reconciliation with the Taliban if they renounced terrorism and broke away from ISIS and al Qaeda.

He asked the Taliban to recognise that if they lived by the Afghan constitution, they could still get their say, Mattis said.

If the Taliban run on their policies, they did need to be setting off bombs, he argued. If they stopped using bombs and broke with Al-Qaeda and ISIS, which clearly was going on, there would be reconciliation with Taliban,” said the secretary.

“What we need is reconciliation where they rejoin their own people, the Afghan government. And that in itself is what helps to defeat the ISIS, that political accommodation will turn into a security reality that's much harder on ISIS,” Mattis remarked.

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