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Way cleared to contact Taliban leaders to end conflict in Afghanistan

Islamabad , Wed, 03 Aug 2011 ANI

Islamabad, Aug 3 (ANI): Pakistan, the United States, and Afghanistan have decided to establish contact with the top leadership of Afghan Taliban to bring to an end the long-drawn conflict, during the recent trilateral talks held in Islamabad.


"Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation is of common interest of the three countries. We want to make it result-orientated for long-term peace and stability in the region," The Nation quoted Afghanistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Jawid Lodin as saying while addressing a joint news conference along with Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) Secretary Salman Bashir and US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Marc Grossman, at the conclusion of the two-day meeting.


Insisting that a political solution for long-term peace and stability in the region should be found, Lodin said: "We need to identify those Taliban leaders to find out who were reconcilable and who were not."


In June this year, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai had claimed that his country and the United States were engaged in peace talks with the Taliban, a statement that the Obama administration neither directly confirmed nor denied.


State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. has "consistently supported an Afghan-led" peace process.


"Over the past two years, we have laid out our red lines for the Taliban: They must renounce violence; they must abandon their alliance with al Qaeda; and they must abide by the constitution of Afghanistan. This is the price for reaching a political resolution and bringing an end to the military actions that are targeting their leadership and decimating their ranks," Toner added. (ANI)


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