No Direct Talks with Taliban Unless it Engages with Afghanistan: US

(Last Updated On: March 10, 2018)

The United States has ruled out a recent request from the Taliban for a direct talk with the White House, unless it engages with the elected government of Afghanistan.

“Obviously there is no comparison between North and South Korea and the Afghanistan situation. I would note that North and South Korea have spoken to each other in advance of the president’s offer to also engage in the conversation,” senior US diplomat for South and Central Asia, Alice Wells, told a Washington audience at the US Institute of Peace.

“So, what we’re looking for in Afghanistan is a fundamental recognition that in an insurgency, the insurgents and the government that is ruling need to engage in a conversation with one another as well as with other interested parties to that settlement. We have been very consistent in this approach,” Wells said.

President Ghani in the recently concluded Kabul Process conference in the Afghan capital, she said, laid out some important principles in his remarks about implementation of the peace process that this will be a part of a national plan that would encompass social development, that would be equitable, that would have a demobilization plan.

“That would require the support of the international community. There’s no way to walk away from Afghanistan even in a time of peace.

Wells noted that it was a complicated process which cannot be pre-judged but underscored its importance for the success of the stabilization of Afghanistan.

Between 20 and 28 January 2018, Kabul was hit three times by urban terrorism, killing at least 130 people.

The Taliban claimed two of the three attacks, one targeting the Kabul Intercontinental Hotel (20 January) and the other consisting of a terrible attack through an ambulance (27 January).

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