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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs