News

US, Afghanistan, Pakistan Press for Taliban Talks

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman (R), Pakistan's FM Jalil Abbas Jilani (C) and Afghan Deputy FM Jawid Ludin (L) pose for the media before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, April 27, 2012.
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman (R), Pakistan's FM Jalil Abbas Jilani (C) and Afghan Deputy FM Jawid Ludin (L) pose for the media before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, April 27, 2012.

Afghan, Pakistani and U.S. officials are pushing for the restart of stalled talks with the Taliban in an effort to find a political settlement to the more than 10-year Afghan war.

U.S. Special Representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman met with Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani during a trilateral meeting in Islamabad Friday.

The three officials told reporters they will explore ways to arrange safe passage for Taliban leaders who are willing to take part in peace negotiations. Afghan Taliban leaders are widely believed to be based in Pakistan.

Grossman said "the shared goal is to open the door for Afghans to sit down with other Afghans to talk about the future of their country."  But the senior U.S. envoy also emphasized that Taliban insurgents must be willing to break ties with al-Qaida, lay down their arms and abide by Afghanistan's constitution.

Last month, the Afghan Taliban announced it was suspending peace talks with the United States until "the Americans clarify their stance on the issues," including a prisoner swap.  The U.S. was reportedly holding preliminary talks in Qatar with the insurgent group, which has rejected taking part in any negotiations involving the Afghan government.

On Thursday, U.S. Special Representative Grossman held bilateral talks with Pakistan's foreign minister and other officials, during which he called for communication lines between both countries to be reopened.

U.S.-Pakistan relations plunged to a new low after a cross-border coalition attack mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops last November.  Pakistan subsequently shut down the ground supply route to international troops in neighboring Afghanistan and ordered a parliamentary review of rules of engagement with the United States.

Grossman told reporters Thursday the U.S. is ready for talks on re-opening the supply lines and that "the task now is to begin a conversation about how to move forward."

Foreign Secretary Jilani said Thursday the arrangement with regard to the NATO supplies would no longer be valid and that the countries must work out a new agreement.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs