Dialogue mainly between Taliban, Afghan govt: US
With President Hamid Karzai threatening to pull out Afghanistan from reconciliation process, the US has said the main dialogue in the peace talks...
With President Hamid Karzai threatening to pull out Afghanistan from reconciliation process, the US has said the main dialogue in the peace talks would be between Afghan govt and the Taliban and it would have separate talks with the outfit only on some issues. "The main dialogue that we support is the dialogue between Afghans, between the Taliban and the Afghan government," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Friday.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday threatened to boycott American efforts to start talks with the Taliban, angry over the name given to a new Taliban office in Qatar that is apparently meant to facilitate direct talks with the US. With the US-led NATO combat mission due to end next year, US officials are determined to resume talks with the Taliban after tentative contacts limited to a prisoner swap collapsed last year.
After Karzai's remarks, the US sought to repair damaged ties with US secretary of state John Kerry calling up the president to convince him to come to the negotiating table. Carney said there are some issues the US would take with the Taliban separately.
"However, there are some issues that we would like to discuss with the Taliban directly, and that includes the safe return of (US soldier) Sergeant Bergdahl who has been gone for far too long," he said. "We continue to call for and work toward his safe and immediate release, he added.
"With regard to the transfer of Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, the United States has not made the decision to do that, though we do expect the Taliban to raise this issue in our discussions if and when those discussions happen. "As we have long said, however, we would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting with Congress and without doing so in accordance with US law," he said in response to a question. Carney said the Taliban and Afghan security forces and coalition forces remain at war.
Taliban sees red over removal of sign Doha (AP): A Taliban spokesman says that some within the Afghan militant movement want to suspend a nascent peace process with the government over a disputed sign in their newly opened office. Shaheen Suhail said the movement is infuriated over Kabul's demands that they remove a sign that identifies their new office in Qatar as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Qatar removed the sign on Wednesday. Suhail said the Taliban have negotiated for three years under that name and were blindsided by the objections. "There is an internal discussion right now and much anger about it but we have not yet decided what action to take," Suhail said in a telephone interview. "But I think it weakens the process from the very beginning."