US for taking Taliban on board in Afghan peace process

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A file photo of US President, Barack Obama.
A file photo of US President, Barack Obama.

The US and Afghanistan have agreed upon holding talks with the Taliban, noting that restoration of lasting peace in the trouble-torn region is not possible without the terrorist group departing from terrorism.

To facilitate a dialogue process involving the outfit, the two countries have decided on opening a Taliban representative office in Qatar as part of the reconciliation process of the terrorist group.

The decision was agreed on during the meeting between visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his US counterpart Barack Obama yesterday.

“It is not for the US to determine what the terms of this peace will be, but what we have also been very clear about is that from our perspective, it is not possible to reconcile without the Taliban renouncing terrorism,” Obama said at a joint news conference with Karzai.

“We recommitted our nations to a reconciliation process between the Afghan Government and the Taliban. President Karzai updated me on the Afghan Government’s roadmap to peace, and we have agreed that this process should be advanced by the opening of a Taliban office to facilitate talks,” Obama added.

He, however, asserted that the Taliban must put its views through a constitutional process and not by restoring to violence.

Taliban representative office

Obama said the proposed office will facilitate authorised Taliban representatives hold direct talks with the representatives of the Afghan high counsel for peace.

Support from relevant regional stakeholders including Pakistan, besides other US allies, would be imperative for the success of the peace process, and the new office will help in coordinating their mutual efforts, Obama said.

He also batted for equal representation for women and a greater role for them in the post-transition period in Afghanistan.

Afghan constitution

“The Afghan constitution protects the rights of Afghan women, And the US strongly believes that Afghanistan cannot succeed unless it give opportunity to its women. We believe (the same) about every country in the world,” he said.

In a joint statement, the two leaders also requested the Qatar Government to facilitate the process for opening of the office.

The joint statement stressed the importance of accelerating peace efforts, including that by countries in the region that have a role to play in support of the Afghan peace process.

(This article was published on January 12, 2013)
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