“Ultimately, we don’t see there being a military solution to the situation in Afghanistan. Ultimately, it has to be a political situation,” State Department Spokeswoman, Heather Nauert told reporters.
She called the Kabul Process Conference an initiative by Afghan government that tries “to bring together different international partners to coordinate international efforts to support Afghanistan’s pursuit of peace”.
On Wednesday, President Ashraf Ghani offered unconditional peace talks to the Taliban. Recognizing the group as a legitimate political party and offering them an office in Kabul were among the suggestions to the insurgent group.
But the U.S. official said the Taliban at this point of time does not seem to be ready for peace talks.
“The Taliban, unfortunately, does not seem ready at this point to sit down and have conversations about peace talks,” Nauert said.
She said they have seen the Taliban letter to the U.S., asserting that any peace talks with Afghanistan have to be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
The U.S. official further added that if the Taliban was willing to sit down and have talks with Afghan government, the US could have a role in that.
Meanwhile, U.S. Gen. Joseph L Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, testified before the House Armed Services Committee said any success in Afghanistan will require a strong relationship with Pakistan.
He said the United States has tried to be very clear in terms of what Pakistan needs to do for Washington and that it must be “a two-way street”.
Votel told the House that the big idea in Afghanistan is a “drive toward reconciliation” to get the Taliban to the negotiation table.