WASHINGTON: The United States remains in contact with Afghanistan and Pakistan over reconciliation between Kabul and the Taliban and Islamabad has a stake in the outcome of the process, a State Department spokespersons said.
“We certainly remain supportive of an Afghan led and Afghan owned reconciliation process,” whereby the Taliban and the Afghan government may engage to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan, Spokesperson Jen Psaki said at the daily briefing.
She was responding to a question about Afghan chief executive officer Abdullah Abdullah’s statement and media reports that the Afghan reconciliation talks involving the Taliban may be held soon.
However, the spokesperson said, the U.S. has no confirmation of when the talks might take place.
“We have long encouraged Pakistan to support President (Ashraf) Ghani’s reconciliation efforts. We, of course, remain in support and in contact with President Ghani on these matters, and certainly countries like Pakistan, who have a stake in the outcome.”
Questioned specifically about Pakistan’s role, the spokesperson said “we have long encouraged them to support reconciliation process and President Ghani spoke about this.”
Regarding reports about Washington’s contacts with the Taliban, the spokespersons said nothing has changed since last week that there has been “no direct or indirect” U.S. talks with the Taliban.