Baztab News

U.S. Calls On Afghan Taliban To 'Step Up' After Peace Offer

09 Mar 2018 Radio Free Europe

The United States has called for the Taliban to "step up" and engage the Afghan government in peace talks to end the 16-year conflict.

Alice Wells, a U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary of state in charge of South and Central Asian affairs, said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's offer of talks with the Taliban without any preconditions was the "most specific and forward-leaning proposal" for peace since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Wells, speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington on March 9, urged the Taliban to give Ghani's offer "serious consideration," adding that there were signs the militant group was "assessing the proposal."

On February 28, Ghani offered to allow the Taliban to establish itself as a political party and said he would work to remove sanctions on the militant group, among other incentives, if it joined the government in peace negotiations.

In return, the militants would have to recognize the Kabul government and respect the rule of law.

But the Taliban has continued to reject direct peace talks with the Kabul government and insisted it will only negotiate with the United States, which it calls a "foreign occupying force." The Taliban also says that NATO forces must withdraw before negotiations can begin.

The United States has refused to withdraw troops as demanded by the Taliban and has insisted that the Kabul government must play a lead role in peace negotiations.

Wells, who is leading the Afghan peace effort for the U.S. government, said Washington was supporting talks without preconditions to allow for "creative solutions and approaches."

She also said Washington had not seen "decisive and sustained changes from Pakistan," which Afghan and U.S. officials have accused of supporting the Taliban.

"But we won't walk away from Pakistan," Wells said, adding that Islamabad had a crucial role to play in bringing the militants to the negotiating table.

Russia and Iran have established contacts with the Taliban in recent years because of the common threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Afghanistan.

But Wells said some regional countries were "exaggerating" the threat of IS militants in Afghanistan as a "pretext for hedging behavior."

Related

At Least Nine Dead In Kabul Suicide Bombing

German Cabinet Approves Troop Increase For Afghanistan

At Least 31 Suspected Militants Killed In Afghanistan, Army Says

U.S. Calls On Afghan Taliban To Take Ghani Peace Offer 'Seriously'

Most Popular

Most-Read Articles

1

Live Blog: Ukraine In Crisis

2

Syrian Group Claims Responsibility For Deadly Russian Plane Crash

3

Russian State TV Host Warns 'Traitors' After Skripal Poisoning

4

Uzbek Imam Warns Fantasizing About Strangers During Sex Leads To Gay Babies

5

Cut-And-Paste Job: 'My Father Wrote Putin's Dissertation'

6

Cone Of Contention: 'Racism' Furor In Tatarstan Over 'Poor Jew' Ice Cream

7

What's Ukraine Doing To Combat Russian Cyberwarfare? 'Not Enough'

8

Nerve Agent Used In Attempted Murder Of Russian Ex-Spy, British Police Say

9

Weeks Before Skripal Incident, Litvinenko's Wife Warned Of Russian Reach

10

Iranian Woman Gets Two Years In Prison For Removing Head Scarf

Most-Viewed Multimedia

1

Women Of The World, Unite! International Women's Day In Soviet-Era Posters

2

Icarus, Documentary On Russian Doping Scandal, Wins Oscar

3

Czechs Protest Communist-Era Cop Heading Police Watchdog

4

Siberia's Miracle Cucumbers

5

Pakistan Issues First Transgender Driving Licenses

6

Russian Elections 101: The Shoo-In

7

'Nobody Has Returned' -- Mosul's Slow Recovery

8

Top Shots

9

From A Belarusian Orphanage To The Paralympics

10

Russian Elections 101: The Outsider

Editors' Picks

Russian Elections 101: The Outsider

Toxicologist: Lab With 'Military Capability' Likely Made Spy Poison

Russian State TV Host Warns 'Traitors' After Skripal Poisoning

Kremlin 'Trolls' Meddling In Russia's Own Elections? 'Of Course We Are!'

Uzbek Imam Warns Fantasizing About Strangers During Sex Leads To Gay Babies

What's Ukraine Doing To Combat Russian Cyberwarfare? 'Not Enough'

Cut-And-Paste Job: 'My Father Wrote Putin's Dissertation'

Russia 2018: Kremlin Countdown

LIVE

Live Blog: Ukraine In Crisis

Latest Multimedia

Europe Alarmed By Slowing Clocks

'Fight, Learn,' Says Female Afghan Boxer

'Nobody Has Returned' -- Mosul's Slow Recovery

More Multimedia

Original Link: https://www.rferl.org/a/afghanistan-us-urges-taliban-to-step-up-after-peace-offer/29089309.html

Open Original News

More from Radio Free Europe

Latest News:

Loading