The United States (US) on Saturday said it believed reconciliation was the only path forward for peace in Afghanistan, as Washington asked Taliban to decide how they wanted to move forward on the peace talks.
“We absolutely believe that reconciliation is the only path forward for Afghanistan to achieve peace. Afghans have to have these negotiations with the Taliban,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
The Doha office was a means to move the process forward but the Taliban had to decide how they wanted to move ahead. If they did not come forward then we would continue to look for new avenues to pursue reconciliation but ultimately the Taliban had to decide to make that choice themselves, said Carney.
As a long-term proposition, the US and Afghan government believed reconciliation was essential and the US would strongly support the Afghan government in the effort. But the Taliban had to decide to participate and under the conditions discussed, Carney said.
A State Department spokesperson also said the US was committed to a peaceful, democratic, and united Afghanistan.
“I would say that our position on Afghanistan has been clear and has not changed, we are committed to a peaceful, democratic, and united Afghanistan,” State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters.
But there was some more work to be done, she added.
She said formal negotiations with Kabul had been suspended but informal discussions with the Afghans on a bilateral security agreement were underway.