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.

You May Like

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs