For peace talks, Taliban must quit violence: US

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WASHINGTON, Mar 2 (PTI): The Taliban needs to support the Afghan constitution and abandon terror and violence if it wants peace talks with the US, the Pentagon has said.

Pentagon’s Chief Spokesperson Dana White made the comment in reply to the Taliban’s call for direct talks to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

“The Taliban has to abandon terror, it has to abandon violence, and it has to support the Afghan constitution. Then they have to come to the table,” White told reporters at her weekly news conference.

“It is ultimately for the people of Afghanistan to come to an ultimate political resolution,” she said.

State Department Spokesperson Heater Nauert congratulated the government of Afghanistan on the success of the just-concluded Kabul Peace Process meeting during which Afghan President Ashraf Ghani unveiled a plan to open peace talks with the Taliban.

“The meeting represented a historic step forward in demonstrating the resolve of the Afghan people, to commit a peace process that brings an end to the war with the Taliban,” Nauert told reporters at a news conference.

Nauert said the US wants the Taliban to join peace talks with the Afghan government and participate in the country’s political system.

“The Taliban should recognise that the Afghan government and the Afghan people are offering competence building measures to show that real peace is possible,” she said.

“President Ghani made clear that there are no preconditions for peace. The United States and the international communities strongly support the path to peace that President Ghani laid out in his speech,” she said.

The Kabul Process, which was first held in 2017, is an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process aimed at establishing peace, security and stability in the war-torn country.

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