News / Asia

    US, Pakistan, Afghanistan Call on Taliban to Join Reconciliation

    Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, left, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar shake hands before a Core Group Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, July 8, 2012.
    Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, left, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar shake hands before a Core Group Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, July 8, 2012.
    TOKYO, Japan — Foreign ministers from the United States, Afghanistan, and Pakistan met Sunday on the sidelines of an Afghan donor conference in Japan to discuss cross-border cooperation and security.  They called on Taliban fighters to join Afghan reconciliation efforts.

    In a joint statement following their talks, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said al-Qaida's core leadership in the region has been decimated, reducing the threat to peace and security that led the international community to intervene in Afghanistan in 2001.

    They are backing an inclusive Afghan reconciliation process "through which individuals and groups break ties with international terrorism, renounce violence, and abide by Afghanistan's constitution" because they say that is the surest way to lasting security for Afghanistan and the broader region.

    Some of the Taliban attacks in Afghanistan are staged from Pakistan, and U.S. officials say they do not believe Pakistan is doing everything it can to prevent those attacks, especially raids carried out by the Haqqani network.

    Senior Obama administration officials say Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Khar discussed the Haqqani network in separate talks before the trilateral meeting. It was the first meeting for the two foreign ministers since Pakistan reopened NATO supply lines to Afghanistan that were closed following the killing of 24 Pakistani troops by NATO forces in November.

    That route was reopened after Secretary Clinton Tuesday offered her "sincere condolences to the families of the Pakistani soldiers who lost their lives" saying she and Foreign Minister Khar acknowledged the mistakes that led to the attack in the border town of Salala.

    Speaking to reporters in Tokyo Sunday, Secretary Clinton says the two countries are moving on.

    "We are both encouraged that we've been able to put the recent difficulties behind us so that we can focus on the many challenges still ahead of us, and we want to use the positive momentum generated by our recent agreement to take tangible, visible steps on our many shared core interests," she said.

    She says first and foremost is defeating terrorists who threaten Afghan and Pakistani stability as well as the interests of the United States.

    "I've said many times that this is a challenging but essential relationship," said Clinton.  "It remains so. And I have no reason to believe it will not continue to raise hard questions for us both."

    U.S. officials say there is now the opportunity to get back to closer counter-insurgency cooperation with Pakistan now that the Afghan border is again open to NATO supplies.

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    Comments
         
    by: mike from: use
    July 10, 2012 1:46 AM
    That Paki foreign minister had better be careful, if her beauty sexually arouses the Taliban, they will shoot her in the head.

    by: John from: Accra
    July 09, 2012 6:29 AM
    I thought i read somewhere that America NEVER negotiates with TERRORISTS? We live in a strange world of double standards.

    by: Halo from: NY
    July 08, 2012 10:38 AM
    Just wait and see how West will use both these countries against, China, Iran and India...
    In Response

    by: Kamran Ali from: Pakistan
    July 09, 2012 4:04 AM
    I completely agree with Halo , that West as whole is vibrant at the moment ,to contain countries with burgeoning economic prospects in the region. Another finding that i would like to share with my friends is that Afghanistan has not yet become free to be independent in pursuing the policy her people want. After decades of incessant war Afghan puppet government has given to Indian plan to bleed Pakistan , Indian 200 embassies along the Durand line, and and modern weapon given to TEHRIK E TALIBAN, and the recurring attacks on Pakistani check posts by terrorists .....that all guarantee another standoff between Pakistan and Afghanistan at the instigation of India.

    by: Steve from: USA
    July 08, 2012 10:29 AM
    What happens to the US policy of not negotiating with the terrorists? Is it because Obama is a Muslim?

    What agreements will be made with Taliban, that kafirs can be forcible converted or killed per Islam/Koran?
    or it is okay to do jihad against the kafirs?

    Please help in finding any sense in this if you are a freedom lover.



    by: Anonymous
    July 08, 2012 9:50 AM
    America is the problem. They refused to provide any evidence on Osama to the Taliban government when requested. Reconciliation can only begin after the US/NATO completely withdraw and pay huge reparations to the Taliban and the Afghan people.

    by: Popsiq from: Canada
    July 08, 2012 9:48 AM
    What's changed but the rhetoric?

    There is abosolutely nothing new in the immediate future of Afghanistan. Least of all anything that would encourage the Taliban to want to be part of the US 'solution' to the problem. Their position - in brief, un-invade Afghanistan you're not in the peace profile - is no less valid than the 'world' restatement of 'wanting to rebuild Afghanistan' that was made 13 years ago as preface to a regime change.

    Now there is just more of Afghanstan to rebuild, with the resources and good will that were there in 2001 now wasted on 13 years of world-class war fighting.

    And is that, now, going to stop? No siree! It will just be a leaner, meaner fighting machine - with oodles of tactical air support- helping the Afghans find the bad guys to kill.

    $60 billion a year insurgencies, especially unfinished ones, just don't drop to $ 0 with a declaration of peace. So any relief for American tax debtors is at least another decade down the road.

    The only good news seems to be that the suckers have taken the bait again. Let's see if they cough up the moolah.

    by: Jen
    July 08, 2012 9:43 AM
    The Afghan guy looks less than thrilled to be shaking hands with two women.

    by: heshukui from: china
    July 08, 2012 9:20 AM
    Good!

    by: Colin Wellstead from: Sydney
    July 08, 2012 9:02 AM
    Looks like the usual suspects are up to their tricks again. The real criminals run free and dine on caviar.

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